Peru Seeks 6,000 Volunteers For China Vaccine Trial

File photo: People await to receive medical attention, outside the emergency area at Alberto Sabogal Hospital in Lima, on May 27, 2020.. (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP)

 

 

Peru on Wednesday began registering volunteers for clinical trials of a Chinese vaccine against the coronavirus.

Six thousand volunteers, who must be aged between 18 and 75 and not have contracted the virus, will be recruited by Cayetano Heredia and San Marcos universities via a dedicated website.

“The universities will select 3,000 volunteers each,” San Marcos rector Orestes Cachay told reporters.

The vaccine, being developed by Chinese company Sinopharm, will be administered by injection.

According to Peruvian researchers in charge of the clinical trials, two strains of the virus — the Wuhan strain and Beijing strain — and a placebo will be randomly given to volunteers.

“A technical team from China will arrive in the coming days, totalling 38 people, to implement the operational part of the project,” Cachay told TV channel N.

The trial is expected to last until December

President Martin Vizcarra announced last week the country would participate in clinical trials of vaccines being developed in China, Britain, the United States and Germany.

Peru, with a population of 33 million, has the third-highest number of deaths from the pandemic in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. Per capita, it has the region’s highest death rate, with 843.5 deaths per million inhabitants.

More than 28,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the country, which has registered more than 600,000 infections so far.

AFP

Peru Says Over 900 Girls, Women Feared Dead Since Pandemic Began

File photo: Workers carry a bag with the body of a COVID-19 victim out of a refrigerated container before its cremation at the El Angel crematorium, in Lima on May 21, 2020 – Peru has become the second Latin American country after Brazil to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases, according to health ministry figures out Wednesday. (Photo by Ernesto BENAVIDES / AFP)

 

A staggering 900-plus girls and women are missing and feared dead in Peru since COVID-19 confinement began, authorities said Monday.

The Andean nation home to 33 million people long has had a horrific domestic violence problem.

But COVID-19, which has compounded home confinement combined with job losses and a health crisis, has seen an already scary situation grow worse in just 3-1/2 months, according to Eliana Revollar, who leads the women’s rights office of the National Ombudsman’s office.

Seventy percent of that figure are minors, she added.

“During the quarantine, from March 16 to June 30, 915 women in Peru were reported missing,” and feared dead, said Revollar.

Before COVID-19, five women were reported missing in Peru every single day; since the lockdown, the number has surged to eight per day.

Revollar said Peru’s situation was grim because the lack of a national missing persons registry made it hard for authorities to keep track of the crisis.

Walter Gutierrez, the ombudsman, told RPS Radio: “We need to know what has happened to them.”

Revollar said she would push for the creation of a missing persons registry.

Women’s rights groups and NGOs however say that very often police refuse to investigate domestic violence, make fun of victims, or claim that the missing have left their homes willingly.

But that doesn’t address the fact that Peru has a problem with domestic violence and other violence against women, as well as human trafficking and forced prostitution.

 

In this file photo taken on May 21, 2020 Worker move a coffin with the body of a COVID-19 victim out of a refrigerated container before its cremation at the El Angel crematorium, in Lima.Ernesto BENAVIDES / AFP

In January, the case of a university student and activist for women’s rights and safety, Solsiret Rodriguez, was in the headlines here — but only when her body was found three years after she went missing.

Last year there were 166 killings of women in Peru; just a tenth of those were cases of a person first being reported missing. And there were just under 30,000 calls to report domestic violence, according to the Women’s Ministry.

And coronavirus hasn’t spared Peru: it has had more than 384,000 coronavirus cases and 18,229 deaths. It is the third-hardest hit country in Latin America behind Brazil and Mexico.

AFP

Two Killed, More Than 30 Wounded In Lima Gas Tanker Blast

 

 

At least two people were killed and dozens injured, some severely, when a gas tanker exploded and ignited a major fire in Lima on Thursday, emergency services said.

The driver of the truck was killed in the blast, and a nine-year-old girl died of cardiac arrest in hospital after succumbing to severe burns, health officials said.

Seven other children were among 33 people hospitalized, some with severe burns, health official Ricardo Sopfi told RPP radio.

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Air force helicopters were used to transport the injured to hospitals.

The gas tanker exploded after the truck went over a speed bump as it approached a busy intersection in the Peruvian capital’s Villa El Salvador district.

The resulting blaze engulfed 14 nearby homes, fire department chief Alfonso Panizo told state television.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control after three hours. Others sifted through razed houses in search of survivors or pets.

Archeologists Find Remains Of 227 Sacrificed Children In Peru

Handout picture released by Programa Arquelogico Huanchacho on August 27, 2019 showing remains of some 227 children, allegedly offered in a sacrifice ritual by the pre-Columbian culture Chimu. PROGRAMA ARQUEOLOGICO HUANCHACO / AFP

 

Archeologists in Peru say the 227 bodies they have unearthed from a site used by the pre-Columbian Chimu culture is the biggest-ever discovery of sacrificed children.

Archeologists have been digging since last year at the huge sacrificial site in Huanchaco, a beachside tourist town north of the capital Lima.

“This is the biggest site where the remains of sacrificed children have been found,” chief archeologist Feren Castillo told AFP on Tuesday.

Castillo said the children, who were aged between four and 14, were sacrificed in a ritual to honor the Chimu culture’s gods.

“They were sacrificed to appease the El Nino phenomenon,” and show signs of being killed during wet weather, he said.

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He added that there may still be more to be found.

“It’s uncontrollable, this thing with the children. Wherever you dig, there’s another one,” Castillo said.

The children’s remains were found in a position facing the sea. Some still had skin and hair.

Huanchaco was a site where many child sacrifices took place during the time of the Chimu culture, whose apogee was between 1200 and 1400.

Archeologists first found children’s bodies at the dig site in the town’s Pampa la Cruz neighborhood in June 2018, unearthing 56 skeletons.

Pampa la Cruz is a short distance from Huanchaquito, where the remains of 140 sacrificed children and 200 llamas were found in April 2018.

The Chimu civilization extended along the Peruvian coast to Ecuador but disappeared in 1475 after it was conquered by the Inca empire.