President Francisco Sagasti went on television urging Peruvians “to make an extra effort to contain the growing wave of infections and deaths.” His government told people in the capital and nine other regions to limit trips outside the home to 60 minutes and it closed churches, gymnasiums, museums, libraries and other institutions.
But marketplaces were crowded. Even some bus drivers ignored mandatory face mask rules. Seventy percent of Peruvians have no income if they stay home. The government says it will give $165 each to 4 million families — but only after the two-week quarantine.
Hundreds of people crowded bus stations in Lima to head for less-restricted rural regions before terminals close later this week. Flights from Brazil and Europe have been cancelled.
Lima Police Chief Jorge Angulo said his agency would try to enforce restrictions, and he noted that 540 of his officers already have died of the virus.
The country of 33 million people has recorded more than 1 million infections and more than 40,000 deaths from COVID-19.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Thousands flout virus restrictions at Israel funeral
— Anxiety grows as long-term facilities await COVID-19 vaccines
— Fans who’ve been to every Super Bowl making plans again this year
— Even if schools reopen by late April, millions of students, many of them minorities in urban areas, may be left out.
— A World Health Organization team looking into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic is visiting a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan
— The U.S. is backing off for now on a plan to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to the 40 prisoners held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.