Coronavirus in Peru: why one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Lima became the epicenter of infections

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It is Miraflores. It has 100,000 inhabitants but due to its green areas and places to eat and walk, in addition to the beach, up to 400,000 people arrive on weekends. Cases increased 100%.

In the Lima district of Miraflores, one of the most exclusive in Peru, people come en masse to entertain themselves, to eat, to walk along its boardwalks, to enjoy its green areas, to visit shopping centers, and perhaps that is why a unwanted effect: the increase of more than 100% of those infected with COVID-19.

That district, in the center of the capital, has 100,000 inhabitants, but on weekends they go no less than 400,000 citizens arriving in private vehicles, public transport, bicycle and even on foot; Whole families that after about six months of confinement are still looking for a place to amuse themselves.

This huge influx caused a strong peak of infections in the second week of September, with 174% of new infections, while the last week of that month reached 113%.

Dante Cersso, head of EsSalud’s intelligence and data unit, Peru’s Social Security, explained to The Associated Press that “usually there was a greater percentage increase in the more populous districts farther from the center of Lima, but what we have found in this last week is that the districts … with the highest socio-economic level they are increasing the number of cases. ”

He asserted that the greatest increase was in Miraflores, which could be due to several factors: it is one of the districts with the most green areas per capita, with beautiful parks, as well as a coastal district where the beach can be accessed by pedestrian bridges, restaurants, banks. “This causes agglomeration to have been generated especially on weekends ” of citizens who also make small purchases of food such as lunch for the family, sandwiches, coffee or a soft drink.

Along with the landscape of large and luxurious buildings, restaurants, hotels and exclusive shopping centers, it is common to find athletes in the streets, entire families walking, people walking their pets and, in recent weeks, a significant number of cyclists who can come from places like Villa El Salvador, no less than 20 kilometers from there.

Miraflores records more than 4,130 infected, more than 4% of its total population.

Cersso called on the residents of this district to “avoid going to crowded places and, if they must go out, to maintain social distancing, use of a mask, and frequent hand washing.”

The situation in terms of the Peruvian capital is different. After a spike in infections a few weeks ago, “cases have started to decline and we have five weeks in a row that are declining,” Cersso said.

The information of EsSalud is based on the management of databases of its affiliates and above all on the geolocation of patients, with which sequences can be determined not only by districts, but also by streets.

In Miraflores people can walk without concern due to the strong presence of municipal guards, what does not happen in the rest of the city.

Gerardo Flores, a resident of Miraflores, added to the AP that “the government is being more flexible. You need to reactivate the economy. The same people need to go out a bit, but we must not be careless. We must protect ourselves and, most importantly, learn to live with the virus, that it will not just go away like that. ”

Since the beginning of the pandemic at the beginning of March, Peru has registered a total of 839,929 infected and 32,914 deaths, while Lima has 357,210 cases and 13,591 deaths.

Source: AP

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