Indigenous peoples and others have been caught In Lima and other cities by emergency measures (including controls on movement) announced from one day to the next. With no means to support themselves, they have been attempting to return to their regions in defiance of the measures.
According to La Mula, queues of people have congregated over the last week both along the Central Highway and the Panamerican Highway in the hope of finding transport to their places of origin.
The government has used the police and armed forces to control the exodus in order to prevent the spread of infection and subsequently, in coordination with regional governments, to organise a controlled exodus for humanitarian reasons. However, for the moment the numbers requesting help to return to their communities of origin far exceed the capacities of the state to respond.
As many as 168,000 have apparently expressed their desire to return to their towns and villages of origin. This not only involves physically transporting such numbers and providing them with temporary shelter, but testing them for Covid-19, providing quarantine for two weeks, and working out who should receive priority.
As of 23 April, the government said it had assisted in the transport of 3,579 persons to ten regions.