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Face masks in indoor, outdoor spaces back in Peru amid COVID-19 fourth wave

Photo: ANDINA/Renato Pajuelo

Photo: ANDINA/Renato Pajuelo

16:55 | Lima, Jul. 4.

After the confirmation that the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is underway in Peru, due to an increase in weekly positive cases, the use of face masks in indoor and outdoor spaces is once again mandatory, Health Minister Jorge Lopez announced on Monday.

"If the (positive) rate was more than 5%, all those freedoms that were granted would be taken away automatically," the minister stated.

"That was one of the conditions for the removal of face masks. But now they (those freedoms) will be taken away immediately; the use of face masks is already mandatory," he added.

On June 27, Minister Lopez announced that Peru had already entered a fourth wave of COVID-19.

Thus, the government official called on the population to continue getting vaccinated and wearing face masks to prevent its spread.

"We have already entered a fourth wave. Peru's positive rate has been more than 5%, which is beyond the acceptable limit, thus suggesting that a fourth wave has begun," Lopez said at that time.

"As we know, COVID-19 is present in many provinces and regions across the country, mainly in the capital city (Lima)," he remarked.

In this regard, the Cabinet member said that for several weeks there had been an average of 1,800 positive cases per week, and now this rate has jumped to more than 11,000 cases a week.

"We are encouraging the population to attend vaccination centers (to get the shots) because this is the only way to prevent them from needing a hospital bed or even an ICU bed," he noted.

Moreover, the health sector's head reiterated the need to continue wearing face masks properly in crowded places.

Given this situation, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) issued an epidemiological alert due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and warned that the emergence of the new Omicron lineages, BA.4 and BA.5, is thought to be changing the epidemiological dynamics of the infection spread across the country.

In a statement, Minsa reported that an increase in cases has been observed across districts in Metropolitan Lima since Epidemiological Week (EW) 14-2022, adding that the percentage of isolation of BA.4 and BA.5 lineages was higher in the last four EWs, especially in the last one, which experienced a higher number of infections coincidentally.

(END) LIT/RMB

Published: 7/4/2022
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