Peru: 6% of the country’s doctors died of coronavirus

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The country with the most deaths according to its population, Peru, paid tribute yesterday, Thursday, to the 551 doctors who died due to covid-19, ie more than 6% of the total number of doctors.

The portraits of the dead doctors have been hung on the fence of the headquarters of the Medical Association and the road that passes in front has been renamed “Street of Heroes”.

A marble obelisk that rises to three meters high has also been placed on this quiet street located in the tourist district of Miraflores, in the southern part of Lima.

“The doctors here are heroes in white T-shirts (…) because they sacrificed their lives to save others. “They dealt with the pandemic without masks, without personal protection measures,” said Raul Urquiso, president of the Medical Association.

On each portrait is written the name, age and area where each doctor worked.

A huge, black ribbon has been placed on the facade of the yellow building, while the Peruvian flag is waving at half-mast.

A plaque has been placed on the marble obelisk that pays tribute to the deceased: “let your sacrifice illuminate the medicine of Peru forever”.

“Unprepared”

According to the Latin American Medical Federation, Peru has the highest number of covid-19 deaths in the region.

Although 891 doctors have died in Brazil due to the disease, the country’s population is nine times larger than that of Peru.

“Many doctors died, mainly because the state did not protect them with individual protection measures and medicines, and also because the hospitals needed many more health workers,” Urkiso said.

“Hospitals were not prepared for this kind of pandemic,” added the president of the Medical Association.

Dr Eric Orlando Cruz Mamani, who contracted covid-19 but survived, said that “when the situation became out of control, the provision of personal protective equipment was negligible.”

“We had to use the same mask for literally a week, when the rule is a few hours,” he said.

With 6,111 deaths per million inhabitants, Peru has the highest death toll from covid-19 in the world by population, according to official figures.

The country of 33 million inhabitants has recorded more than two million cases of covid-19 and more than 201,000 deaths.

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