At least 223 police officers in Peru have died after contracting the coronavirus while enforcing one of South America’s longest lockdowns, the interior ministry announced Tuesday.
“We have to date 223 police dead and 15,500 infected,” Interior Minister General Gaston Rodriguez told a virtual press conference.
The death toll is 30 percent higher than two weeks ago, when the ministry announced 170 officers had died and just under 10,000 were infected, out of a total force of 130,000.
Peru is the second-worst-hit country in Latin America after Brazil, with more than 257,000 cases and 9,000 deaths.
Rodriguez said the force would receive a boost in numbers in August when 5,000 police cadets graduate.
Since the government introduced a quarantine in March, around 6,000 police who had contracted the disease had recovered and were back in service.
The vast majority of police infections occurred when officers patrolled markets and streets to ensure people were observing social distancing measures to avoid spreading the virus.