Healthcare workers began an open-ended national strike in Peru on Wednesday, demanding higher salaries and better benefits in a country severely affected by the pandemic. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Ministry of Health in Lima to seek an immediate pay rise, along with improvements in safety standards and a special bonus for people working on the front line in the country's battle against COVID-19.
The demonstrators included doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and even veterinarians. Emergency rooms, intensive care units, and hospital wards were operating normally, but pre-scheduled consultations or surgeries were suspended around the nation.
Peru was one of Latin America's hardest-hit countries in 2020 and is now experiencing a resurgence in cases. More than 230 doctors in Peru have died as a result of the pandemic. According to authorities, more than 4,000 health professionals in the country work without proper insurance cover, and lack the right to sick leave if they are diagnosed with the virus.
Meanwhile, the government has extended restrictions designed to help abate the pandemic, which is now considered to be in its second wave according to Peruvian President Francisco Sagasti. Peru has reported more than one million coronavirus cases and 38,399 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
(Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by www.republicworld.com and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)