Workers carry a bag with the body of a COVID-19 victim out of a refrigerated container before its cremation at the El Angel crematorium, in Lima on May 21, 2020 – Peru has become the second Latin American country after Brazil to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases, according to health ministry figures out Wednesday. (Photo by Ernesto BENAVIDES / AFP)
Peru emerged as a global COVID-19 hotspot on Tuesday as the health ministry registered more than 200,000 cases, ranking the South American country as the eighth-highest in the world by number of infections.
The death toll rose to 5,738 and the total number of infections climbed to 203,736, an increase of more than 4,000 cases from the previous day.
The ministry said 167 people had died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
The figures show Peru as second only to Brazil as Latin America’s worst-affected country by number of overall cases, and third after Brazil and Mexico in terms of deaths.
The economy, one of the region’s highest performing until February, has largely ground to a halt during a 12-week lockdown ordered by President Martin Vizcarra.
Textile unions have demanded the government begin opening up the industry so production and exports can resume.
Peru’s GDP contracted by 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2020.
The country’s first case was detected on March 6 and Vizcarra declared a compulsory national confinement 10 days later, shuttering borders and imposing nighttime curfews.