Peru extends protracted national lockdown until end of June

A person dressed as a Kusillo, a traditional Andean harlequin, reminds people to wear face masks, gloves and maintain the social distance as a preventive measure against Covid-19 in Puno, Peru May 15, 2020. — AFP pic
A person dressed as a Kusillo, a traditional Andean harlequin, reminds people to wear face masks, gloves and maintain the social distance as a preventive measure against Covid-19 in Puno, Peru May 15, 2020. — AFP pic

LIMA, May 23 — Peru yesterday extended its state of emergency and a nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic until the end of June, marking one of the longest periods of mandatory isolation in the world.

The Andean nation, which began the lockdown in mid-March, will have lived under it for more than 3-1/2 months by a June 30 expiration, outlasting restrictions in Italy, Spain and China, some of the hardest hit countries in the pandemic.

Yesterday's extension, announced by President Martin Vizcarra, came as Peru’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 111,698, the second highest total in Latin America. The death toll stood at 3,244 yesterday.

Vizcarra said the latest and fifth extension, which is more than a month beyond the previous expiration date of May 24, would come with the reopening of certain economic activities, including household appliance sales, hair salons and dental services.

Restrictions on some sports will also be relaxed, including professional football, though games will take place in stadiums without an audience.

“We must move to a new coexistence, which allows us as a society to be more caring, more responsible, disciplined, respectful of the minimum standards of behaviour so as not to harm the people we love the most,” Vizcarra said. — Reuters

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