Peru, which has the world’s highest Covid-19 death rate per capita, has surpassed 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus, the health ministry said on Friday.
The ministry announced 25 new deaths over the previous 24 hours, taking the South American country over the 200,000 threshold with 200.003 deaths since the pandemic started in March 2020. Peru, which has a population of 33 million has also recorded 2.2 million infections. With 6,065 deaths per million population, Peru’s Covid mortality rate is the highest in the world, according to an AFP count based on official data.
The news comes at a time of falling daily cases and deaths attributed to the increase in vaccinations. Authorities are still on high alert due to the delta variant. “We’re maintaining a high level of control,” health minister Hernando Cevallos said recently. “It is probable that the first and second waves have generated immunity in part of the population, as has vaccination.”
Peru’s number of deaths is only surpassed in Latin America by Brazil and Mexico, although those countries’ populations are almost seven and four times greater respectively. “We need to get vaccinated so there is no more sadness in homes and no more orphans,” Mirtha Garcia Espinoza, a 39-year-old mother of two widowed by the pandemic, told AFP.
Peru’s virus death rate has been falling since April when it reached 2,500 a week. Last week that was down to 169, according to official figures. Experts blame Peru’s problems on its large informal economy and an ineffective healthcare system. The Peruvian government hopes to vaccinate 70 percent of its population over 12 by the end of the year.