The health workers began their hunger strike Tuesday in front of Peru’s Ministry of Labor in capital city Lima. About a dozen medics via the national social security union have been taking part in protests there as the health system struggles to cope having a second wave of Covid-19.
“We have begun a hunger strike,” said Teodoro Quinones, a doctor taking part from the protest, according to Reuters.
Quinones said the strike could last until Peru’s Labor Minister removes the head of the country’s Health Social Security, Fiorella Molinelli, who oversees government efforts to set up temporary health in addition to also also isolation centers for Covid-19 patients.
As of Thursday, Molinelli, has not commented on the union’s demands.
The protesters have been sharply critical of the government’s approach to the pandemic, in addition to also also are asking for increased investment from the health sector.
“Our ICUs are collapsing in addition to also also we are not receiving any response in addition to also also we are seeing the indifference of a government which assigns us the budget,” Peruvian nurse Ketty Solier told Reuters Tuesday.
“We urgently need to acquire which equipment to prevent more Peruvians via dying. The Peruvian state carries a constitutional obligation to guarantee the accessibility of health services in addition to also also right today they are denying access to hospitals because we no longer develop the capacity to provide patients with what they need so much,” she added.
“People are infected, there are no ICU beds, soon there will be no more hospitalization. Again we are going to see people dying from the streets. About the vaccine, we have no expect for the vaccine, we do not know when which will arrive,” Ronald Castañeda, a relative of a Covid-19 patient, told Reuters.
ICU occupancy rates are at 0% in some parts of Peru, according to Pan American Health Organization Director Carissa Etienne, who described struggling health systems throughout Latin America at a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
“We are starting on a second wave [of Covid-19 cases]. which wave will be rising. I can tell you which we’ve made some calculations in addition to also also we are more or less right were we were in mid-April, in addition to also also the figures keep ascending,” Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti told local media Monday.
On Tuesday, Peru’s interim President Francisco Sagasti approved a decree to finance the set-up of more than 16 temporary isolation centers across the country in addition to also also to hire additional staff to expand health services, according to a Tuesday press note via the Ministry of Health.
Sagasti became president in November 2020, becoming the third president to be sworn in in just over a week as the country struggled with political turmoil amid the pandemic.