October 29, 2020

The day men filled Lima’s markets

Anxious, rushed, a little clumsy, in some cases. This is how the men who toured the streets and markets of Lima on the first day of the restriction of movement by gender ordered by the Peruvian Government as part of the measures to stop the epidemic of COVID-19 in the country looked like this.

In districts as varied as San Miguel, San Martín de Porres, San Isidro or Miraflores, Efe was able to verify that young men and adults were queuing to enter markets and supermarkets, in almost all cases insistently reviewing the lists of products that they had to buy, written on paper or cell phones.

And it is that for the first time that Peruvian women are remembered, they were prohibited this Friday from leaving their homes and going to one of the few tasks that can be done in the country during quarantine, such as shopping.

The restriction that was inaugurated this day was imposed by the Government as part of the citizen isolation measures and implies that until April 12 men and women will only be able to leave their home on alternate days according to their gender, to make purchases in markets and pharmacies, or go to the bank.


“It has not been very difficult because here I have a list that my wife has sent me, with that everything becomes easy,” businessman Carlos Gamarra told Efe as he came out with his products from the populous market of Caquetá, in San Martín de Porres .

Gamarra, who has a small business that is closed at the moment, admitted that it was “a bit difficult” to identify some of the products, but the vendors were helping customers.

“I have previously gone out (to make these purchases) but with my wife,” he added before saying that he does agree with the restriction ordered this Thursday by President Martín Vizcarra.

“I think it is good because of the issue that we are experiencing with this pandemic; to collaborate, all of us, let’s stay at home and let those of us who have to leave go out,” he said. it takes too much time”.


In the same place, the seller of lemons Flor Leyva told Efe that during the first day of attendance of men, she did not notice “any difference”, although she later stated that “they do not know the prices, they are surprised, but nothing more.”

However, one of its neighbors, the choclo (corn) vendor Dora Huamán considered that “it is the women who should come” to the markets, because “the men do not know how to buy.”

Both vendors are exempt from gender quarantine, as are taxi drivers and other essential workers during this period.

Beyond these divergent opinions, the buyer César Tello said he had no major problem because he likes to cook and also supports the government’s order for social isolation.

“The measure seems good to me because we have to cut this virus, and if the government adopts it we have to abide by it, because it is for the good of all, otherwise we will have time,” he emphasized.


At the Mercado Modelo in the San Miguel district, which borders the Pacific Ocean, vegetable vendor Porfirio Almonte Castillo told Efe that the experience of serving only men seemed “interesting”.

“Men also have to learn how to shop for the home,” he remarked before saying that during the day he saw that the men’s attitude was “quite orderly” and that they “shop faster and leave.”

Almonte said that in his market “there is enough control” of the municipality, with inspectors and police, in addition to that all sellers “are complying” with sanitary measures, such as wearing masks and gloves, and having gel alcohol.

This opinion was endorsed by the president of this market, Haydee Almanza, who told Efe that they have complied with “all the provisions” of the Executive, with notices about office hours, hygiene and security measures.

“We have not had any incident: today there was an older couple, that the man is an oncology patient and could not come, so the lady coordinated with the police station and they told him to also coordinate with me, and we have allowed the lady to enter”, story.

For Almanza, the balance of the first day of the gender restriction has been good, because everything was “very orderly, very disciplined.”

“The men come directly to buy their products, I hope that the same experience will be repeated tomorrow” when only women will go, he concluded.


This Friday, as in San Martín or San Miguel, in residential and tourist districts such as San Isidro or Miraflores, Efe found that men formed neat queues in supermarkets and bought without major incidents.

However, the local media reported dozens of arrests of women who did not respect the restriction in other districts of the Peruvian capital and in the interior of the country, arguing that they had gone out to make small purchases.

One of the most notorious cases was seen in the northern region of Piura, identified by the Government as being one of the least compliant with the quarantine, where at least one hundred women were detained on the streets during the early hours of the morning.

While this was happening, President Martín Vizcarra insisted on the importance of maintaining citizen isolation and reported that his country registered 181 more cases of Covid-19 during the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,595 affected and 61 deaths.

David Blanco Bonilla


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