Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti on Friday reported that Peruvian borders will be kept closed to prevent a further increase in COVID-19 contagion. Thus, bilateral agreements were adopted with the health authorities of neighboring countries. “By mutual agreement, the borders will be kept closed. We have reached bilateral agreements. Even before the new COVID-19 variant appeared in Chile, we were in talks with the health authorities of that neighboring country to reopen the border,” Dr. Mazzetti expressed. “However, as soon as the new variant emerged, we all said that it was not possible, and so the border remained closed,” she added. The high-ranking official commented that —before making this decision— there was an entire organization working on the border area, both on the Peruvian region of Tacna and on the Chilean region of Arica to reopen the border. “Yet, once the release came out about the appearance of the COVID-19 variant in Chile, it was immediately decided to keep the southern border closed,” she recalled. Difficulties in border control Regarding the illegal entry of people through certain points of the land borders, the Health minister said it is impossible to guard so many kilometers of land border involving five neighboring countries. “A tremendous effort is made, for example, on the northern border. One part can be monitored very well, but there is another one that cannot necessarily be monitored with such capacity by both countries (Peru and Ecuador),” she acknowledged. The Cabinet member also argued that there is always a human component to epidemics and pandemics, so social behavior is the main problem. “Any measure is useless if, clandestinely by taking advantage of the geographical difficulties, people leave their countries without taking the proper precautions. That is something that no country can control,” she emphasized. Remarks were made in a press conference to announce that the first case of the coronavirus variant —initially found in the United Kingdom— has been registered in Peru. ?? Autoridades del Ministerio de Salud informan sobre la evolución de la pandemia por la COVID-19 en el país. En vivo: — Ministerio de Salud (@Minsa_Peru) January 8, 2021 (END) LZD/MVB


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