Peru's coronavirus deaths surge past 7,000

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 17 2020 11:58 AM

Peru's coronavirus deaths surge past 7,000 1
Two families react next to coffins containing the bodies of their loved ones, who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Nueva Esperanza cemetery in Lima, Peru, May 27, 2020. Sebastian Castaneda, Reuters

LIMA - Peru's health ministry said Tuesday that the hard-hit nation's coronavirus death toll had reached 7,056, the third-highest in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico.

Officials said the number of confirmed cases is now beyond 237,000 in Peru, which has been under a nationwide lockdown for three months.

With a population of 33 million, Peru has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in Latin America after Brazil.

Nevertheless, Health Minister Victor Zamora told reporters that the number of new cases has begun to decrease.

Peru's healthcare system is on the verge of collapse, with more than 10,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

Seventy percent of Peru's cases have been reported in the Lima metropolitan area, home to a third of the country's population.

The death toll includes more than 200 inmates who caught the disease in Peru's overcrowded prisons, at least 170 police officers working to enforce curfews and border closures, and more than 50 medical personnel, according to official figures.

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