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  • Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra addresses the nation.

    Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra addresses the nation. | Photo: EFE

Published 5 April 2020

"What we want, on the one hand, is to minimize the damage that social isolation has been causing to the economy," he stressed, adding that it is important to aid companies because "behind them, there are a significant number of workers who have to continue, as far as possible, with their work."

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra announced on Friday an economic plan to aid companies that have been affected by the state of emergency, currently in place to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, where 1,595 infections and 55 deaths have been reported.

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The legislative decree "Reactiva Peru," or "Reactivate Peru," approved under the exceptional powers granted by Congress to the president, seeks to provide liquidity to companies that have been affected by the quarantine.

"What we want, on the one hand, is to minimize the damage that social isolation has been causing to the economy," he stressed, adding that it is important to aid companies because "behind them, there are a significant number of workers who have to continue, as far as possible, with their work."

He explained that the decree grants "a credit guarantee of up to 30 billion soles (about 8.7 billion U.S. dollars)."

"It will (benefit) 350,000 companies, of which 314,000 are companies with fewer than 10 workers. We want to help the vast majority of companies that have been affected and that have lost liquidity," he added.

The government has been carrying out thousands of tests for the virus nationwide, and although only 9 percent of those tested so far have returned a positive, the president said there is still room to improve.

"Of the 17,334 tests carried out, there were 15,739 negative and 1,595 positive cases ... Regarding the information from yesterday (Thursday), there are 181 new cases," said the president.

Peru is currently under a quarantine and a curfew that will continue until April 12 to help stop the spread of the virus.

"Surely (the new 181 cases) were spread in the market, at home, on public roads, in a pharmacy, or perhaps even in a bank. That is why we have to try to mobilize as little as possible," he stated, urging citizens to stay in their homes and to comply with the compulsory use of masks.

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