COVID-19 Global Perspective from Peru

Dr. Maria Sofia Cuba Fuentes is the Coordinator of the Family and Community Medicine Residence program and the Coordinator of the Master of Primary Health Care program at Cayetano Heredia University in Peru. As part of our COVID-19 Global Perspective Series, we reached out to Dr. Fuentes to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Peru.

What ways has your country's government responded to COVID19 outbreak and pandemic? When did you begin seeing a response?

  • The Peruvian government was one of the governments in Latin America that responded quickly:
  • Lockdown for 15 days in the day 10 after the case zero, now they have extended it for 40 days
  • A subsidy for the vulnerable, almost 20% of the population
  • Increase of ICU response from only 100 beds to 500 (for 30 million people)
  • Trying to test more people

How do you anticipate your country's health systems will be impacted? What are you and your institution doing to prepare for COVID19?

Everybody says that it will be catastrophic, we have a fragmented health system with only 2,3 public investment in healthcare from de IBP, poor capacity in tertiary care, and a poor response in primary care.

In what ways will your country/city/community be uniquely affected that differs from other places in the world?

We have many people that have temporary jobs (70%), so they are very vulnerable with the prolonged lockdown. Also, 70% of the elderly live with the nuclear family of sons and daughters. They do not live isolated like in western countries.

What are people doing locally to build support for their most vulnerable community members, neighbors, and family members?

At this point, there are no initiatives from the people, the government is commanding all response efforts.

What have you seen happen in your community that gives you hope or solidarity for positive outcomes?

People are starting to talk about the necessity of a national health system and more investment in health.

Why is it more important now than ever before to collaborate with global partners?

To learn and put in practice the best efforts every country is doing.

COVID-19 Global Perspectives

Our COVID-19 Global Perspectives Series features insights and updates from our global health partners around the world.

Global Perspectives