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Country reeling from pandemic is on track for one of the longest lockdowns in the world

Gideon Long in Bogotá

On the face of it, Peru seems to have done everything right in its battle to combat the spread of coronavirus.

It imposed a tough, early lockdown, closed its borders, used night-time curfews and unveiled one of the biggest economic support packages in the region. In the view of one economist who follows the country closely, it “led the response to Covid-19 in Latin America”.

And yet, three months on, Peru is reeling. It has 203,736 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the second-highest number per capita in Latin America behind Chile, and second in absolute terms only to Brazil. Officially, at least 5,738 people have died, the third-highest figure per capita in the region behind Ecuador and Brazil. Peru has also seen one of the world’s highest percentage increases in deaths over normal levels.