From the Foreign Trade Society (ComexPerú) and the Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Related (Now) they urged the Government to relax the restrictive measures taken with the arrival of the third wave of COVID-19, since these would hinder their economic activities .
However, the head of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), Hernando Cevallos, announced yesterday that the new curfew – which runs from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am – will be maintained despite business demands.
“The restriction measures have an impact on the economic recovery of the country, for that reason we try to be very responsible in the decisions of the restrictive measures, but it would affect much more if the omicron goes off without any control,” he told La República.
Cevallos reiterated that at this time health is a priority and assured that, once contagions are controlled, the Government will promote economic reactivation.
“As soon as the rise of COVID-19 stops, we will try to quickly return people to normalcy, but this is part of the strategy to have an economically strong country. Without health there is no economy ”, he specified.
Along these lines, the epidemiologist Cesar Carcamo He recalled that at the end of 2020 there was a lot of pressure from the gastronomic, tourist and service unions to reopen the capacity, which triggered the second wave.
In his opinion, it is a bad time to relax the restrictions, and he foresees that the third wave will last until the end of February considering that this variant has a higher contagion speed and the lethality is reduced with vaccination.
Trade union claims
According to a study by Apoyo Consultoría commissioned by ComexPeru, the three-hour extension of the curfew —before it began at 2:00 am— it would cause a reduction of 8.5% in mobility towards the retail channel and places of recreation.
In addition, Blanca Chávez, president of Now Peru, recalled that the mandatory confinement affected 60% of restaurant sales during dinner hours. “We have to close two hours before the curfew begins; this must be rectified and spoken clearly.
We will see how to transfer staff to their homes, but restaurants cannot continue to be limited in their sales ”, he highlighted.
In this sense, the study released by ComexPeru It details that the lower gastronomic activity would generate a 12% contraction in the GDP of the restaurants; in addition to a drop of 8% in the hiring of labor (care personnel, kitchen, cleaning, among others).
For the business leader, the measures by which the Minsa must opt must turn towards vaccination with up to three doses “so that there are no more irresponsible people occupying ICU beds.”
Hernando Cevallos, Minister of Health
“The restriction measures have an impact on the economic recovery, so we try to be very responsible (…) but it would affect much more if the omicron goes off without any control.”
Blanca Chávez, president of Now Peru
“We do not understand the intention of the curfew. They are repeating the measures that were taken before and it was not relevant (…) we have to close two hours before, this must be rectified and made clear ”.
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