By Sierra Juarez
QUERETARO, Mexico (AA) – Peru and Panama announced this week that men and women will only be allowed to leave their homes on certain days as part of measures against the novel coronavirus.
They hope this will reduce the spread of the virus, which has infected more than a million people worldwide.
“Due to the majority of people leaving their homes despite the mandatory national quarantine, the government has taken more severe measures to protect the health of the people,” the government of Panama said in a press release.
In Peru, women can leave their homes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and men on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. No one can leave their homes on Sunday. The days that women and men are allowed to leave their homes are the opposite in Panama.
There are some exceptions, however, such as “essential” workers being allowed to leave their homes outside of their gender-approved days.
The announcements have raised concern among the LGBTQ community, especially among transgender and gender non-conforming people.
Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra addressed the concerns on Thursday, saying the government is “progressive” and that there would be no infringement on human rights.
“The armed forces and national police will have clear instructions so that this is not at all a pretext for any homophobic measure,” Vizcarra said in a livestream video.
The restrictions begin Friday in Peru and will continue until April 12. The restrictions in Panama began Thursday, and it is unclear how long they will last.
Peru has 1,414 cases of the coronavirus with 55 deaths while Panama has 1,475 cases and 37 deaths.
After first appearing in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 180 countries and regions.