LIMA, Jul 29 (.) – Peru exceeded 400,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus on Wednesday after the disease appeared in the country in early March, a Health Ministry report said, while those killed by the disease totaled 18,816.

In the last 24 hours, new cases increased by 5,678 infected, a second daily record since June 12, to total 400,683 infected, the report said, ranking Peru as the third country with the most patients in Latin America.

In the region, Brazil and Mexico occupy the first and second place, respectively, of cases of contagion of the disease that appeared in a China market at the end of last year and whose outbreak has generated an acute global economic crisis.

The government of the Peruvian president, Martín Vizcarra, in July lifted a quarantine in most regions of the country that it had decreed in mid-March. The decision seeks to revive the mining country’s economy, which according to projections would contract this year by 12.5%, its worst record in a century.

The Minister of Health in Peru, Pilar Mazzetti, stated earlier that the number of deaths from COVID could be higher in the country if the deaths of people suspected of the disease and data from other health sources are considered.

« We can clarify that difference when each case can really be evaluated, but I think we all have to consider that it is a figure of around 40,000 (killed by COVID-19), » he told journalists during a ceremony for national holidays.

Latin America has become the region hardest hit by the virus in the world, surpassing North America in the number of total infected, according to a . count.

(Report by Marco Aquino)