Peru: thousands visit the dead after two years of restrictions

LIMA (HPD) — Thousands of Peruvians flocked to cemeteries Tuesday during the All Saints’ Day celebration after being closed for two years during this holiday by government order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Flower vendors, especially yellow ones, abounded from early on at the cemeteries’ gates, although adults and children were also seen offering their services to paint or clean the crosses on the tombs.

The largest cemetery in Peru, called Virgen de Lourdes and located in the southeast of Lima, received visitors since the day before who preferred to arrive in advance to avoid the crowds that in times before the pandemic numbered tens of thousands in a single day.

Full access to cemeteries in Peru has been slowly restored in recent months, but on the busiest day of the year, November 1, they were completely closed in 2020 and 2021, in many cases guarded by armed soldiers.

In mid-March 2020, the Peruvian government ordered an almost absolute confinement that lasted more than 100 days, but various restrictions continued, including limiting the number of people who could accompany the deceased during his burial to a maximum of five.

Over the months, other obligations, such as presenting the vaccination document when entering the cemetery or wearing masks, were relaxed. Food markets and banks no longer require the use of masks and do not spray alcohol on hands. In September, the government indicated that the use of masks would be optional in both open and closed places.

Last week the government fired the last hospitalized patient who overcame COVID-19 in a complex of seven towers of up to 20 floors in the southern area of ​​Lima where more than 2,700 beds were installed for coronavirus patients due to the collapse of the hospitals. hospitals. Last Wednesday the government lifted all the restrictions put in place to deal with the coronavirus.

Since the start of the pandemic to date, according to the Peruvian government, more than 217,000 people have died from the coronavirus.

Some users with masks are still observed in schools and public transport buses, but the majority have stopped wearing them and only put them on when required by the authorities.

The fundamental reason for returning to normal, according to the authorities, was the advancement of vaccination and the decrease in cases. According to data from the Ministry of Health there are 26.8 million vaccinated with one dose, 25.7 million with two doses, 20.8 million with three doses and 5.3 million with four doses. Peru has 33 million inhabitants.

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