Peru reopens Machu Picchu for man who waited for 7 months to enter

A Japanese tourist who held onto his ticket to visit Machu Picchu for seven months has finally been allowed in to explore the iconic spot.

Jesse Takayama arrived in Peru in March and was excited to visit the 15th Inca ruins, which normally draws about one million tourists a year.

But the COVID-19 pandemic shut the historic site and the 26-year-old became stranded in a nearby town, where he’s spent the past seven months.

He put in a special request to see Machu Picchu, which Peruvian authorities agreed to.

“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” Alejandro Neyra, the minister of culture, said in a virtual press conference.

Jesse Takayama was able to explore Peru’s famous Machu Picchu alone. Picture: @ApuntesDelMundoSource:Twitter

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“The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.”

Peru has reported 33,305 coronavirus-related deaths so far and has the highest per capita COVID-19 mortality rate of any country across the globe, according to John Hopkins University.

Doctors believe the country’s faulty testing approach is one reason why.

🇵🇪🌄Abrieron el #MachuPicchu sólo para él: la historia del turista japonés que estuvo varado 7 meses
🧑🏽‍💻📲https://t.co/bd2GVln2Y0 #DiarioNorteCom #CumplióSuSueño #Pandemia #Perú #JesseTakayama pic.twitter.com/foiIFBcVoj

For years, Peru has invested a smaller part of its GDP on public health than others in the region. As COVID-19 approached, glaring deficiencies in Peru became evident.

High levels of poverty and people who depend on daily wages from informal work complicated the government’s efforts to impose a strict quarantine, further challenging Peru’s ability to respond effectively to the virus.

The virus has killed the country’s travel industry – especially its main event, Machu Picchu.

Peru, one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, shut its borders on March 16. Picture: Percy Hurtado / AFPSource:AFP

The site will be reopened for national and foreign tourists in November at 30 per cent of its normal capacity of 675 people a day.

After seven months, Mr Takayama was excited he got the chance to visit.

“This is so amazing! Thank you!” he said in a video recorded on the top of Machu Picchu mountain.

This article originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission

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