Peru reports highest-ever weekly COVID-19 case count as Omicron spreads

2 minute read

People get tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as Peru raised its pandemic alert level in various cities and tightened some restrictions due to a third wave of infections caused by the spread of the Omicron variant, in Lima, Peru January 6, 2022. REUTERS/Angela Ponce

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

LIMA, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Peru reported an all-time high 70,000 COVID-19 infections in the first week of January, a health official told reporters on Monday, as a third wave of the pandemic spreads through the Andean nation driven by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Dante Cersso, a government health official, told reporters that the new weekly case count had exceeded the previous record of 67,107 cases during the second week of April of last year.

At the time, Peru was going through a brutal second wave that left the country with the world's worst per-capita death rate, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 0.5% of Peru's population has died of COVID-19.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

Death counts have not spiked with the recent surge in cases, according to data from Peru's Ministry of Health. Other nations also have reported fewer deaths linked to skyrocketing Omicron infections.

Over 65% of Peru's population has received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Our World in Data. Peru is also offering booster shots to all adults three months after receiving their second shot.

While South America was battered by previous waves of the pandemic, it has emerged as the most vaccinated region in the world.

Nearby countries like Bolivia and Argentina also have reported record COVID-19 case counts in recent weeks due to the highly-contagious Omicrown variant.

Peru tightened some pandemic-related restrictions last week in a bid to soften the blow of the new spike in infections.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to
Reporting by Marco Aquino and Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Bill Berkrot

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.