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Covid in Latin America

Peru’s perfect storm

Some analysts believe the first year of Covid-19 in Peru has also brought with it the most intense ‘perfect storm’ of problems experienced by the country in at least the last two decades. By the time the pandemic hit in March 2020 the country had already been dealing for several years with a long-running political, constitutional, and corruption crisis. In January new congressional elections had been held, raising hopes that a deadlock between the executive and legislative branches of government could be resolved. President Martin Vizcarra won early praise for the speed and decisiveness he showed after the first case was detected on 15 March, moving rapidly to impose a draconian quarantine regime. Although initially intended to last two weeks, this lockdown was repeatedly extended and ended up lasting three and a half months. To the government’s consternation, however, the lockdown triggered a dramatic economic collapse while failing to deliver the desired flattening of the curve of new Covid-19 cases and deaths.

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