Former Peruvian President Vizcarra tests positive for COVID-19 | News on the coronavirus pandemic

Martin Vizcarra, kicked out of public office for allegedly receiving the COVID vaccine out of his turn, says he and his wife have tested positive.

Former Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra, who this month was not allowed to hold public office skip the queue to receive a coronavirus vaccine last year, said he and his wife tested positive for COVID-19.

Vizcarra tweeted Sunday that the pair tested positive “despite taking care to avoid bringing home the virus” and are symptomatic.

“My family is taking the necessary isolation measures. Let’s not let our guard down, ”he said.

Vizcarra has been criticized for not wearing a mask or following physical distancing rules during his election campaign before the April 11 poll to choose the next Congress and President of Peru.

Earlier this year, he was embroiled in a “VIP vaccine” scandal in which several government ministers and officials received Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 beatings before they were made public.

Vizcarra has denied any wrongdoing, saying he and his wife were vaccinated in October 2020 because they volunteered to participate in a clinical trial.

The doctor in charge of the trial, however, disputed this.

Dr German Malaga testified in the Peruvian parliament in mid-February that Vizcarra asked him for two vaccines and said Vizcarra knew he and his wife would receive the real vaccine.

On April 17, Peru Congress kicked out the former president of having held public office for 10 years because of the scandal, finding him guilty of influence peddling, collusion and false statements.

Congress also banned former Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti and former Foreign Minister Elizabeth Astete from holding public office for eight years and one year, respectively. Mazzetti and Astete at the same time resigned on the vaccine scandal.

Peru has reported at least 1.75 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 59,400 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University.

The country, like several others in Latin America, has seen an increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths in recent weeks, prompting officials to put in place more stringent public health measures.

People wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Lima, Peru, April 16 [Sebastian Castaneda/Reuters]

The government issued a decree on Saturday that will require Peruvians to wear two masks inside businesses such as grocery stores, malls and pharmacies, and in busy public spaces, from Monday. People already have to wear plastic face shields.

Acting President Francisco Sagasti said Thursday that Peru was on top of a second growing wave of the pandemic and ordered the distribution of free masks.

A mandatory quarantine on Sundays has also been reimposed in Lima, the capital, and in 41 of the country’s 196 provinces.

Peru is holding a presidential runoff in June and voters will choose between leftist candidate Pedro Castillo and conservative Keiko Fujimori.

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