Japanese man becomes first person to visit Machu Picchu amid lockdown

Jesse Katayama became the first visitor in over seven months to be able to safely walk through the world heritage site Macchu Picchu amidst lockdown. 

Ever since the pandemic started, many people had to scurry back to their home countries urgently, for fear of getting stuck in a foreign country. Unfortunately, when most countries shut their international borders so as to prevent the infection from spreading some people could not return home in time.

A Japanese man named Jesse Katayama is one of them, who have been stuck in Peru ever since the coronavirus outbreak happened. Now, the country has opened the doors to its ancient Inca site Machu Picchu for Katayama to visit, after almost seven months.

 Katayama’s entry into the ruins came after a special request that he had submitted while being stranded since mid-March in the town of Aguas Calientes, on the slopes of the mountains near the site, Peru’s minister of culture, Alejandro Neyra, stated.

“He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter. The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country,” he was quoted as saying.

With this, Katayama became the first visitor in over seven months to be able to safely walk through the world heritage site. Incidentally, he had had his entry ticket with him since March. The outlet reports that he had wanted to spend only a few days in Peru to take in Machu Picchu, whose ruins are part of the citadel built more than 500 years ago.

“The first person on Earth who went to Machu Picchu since the lockdown is meeeeeee,” Katayama wrote on his Instagram account, and posted some photographs of him at the deserted site.

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A post shared by Jesse Katayama (@jessekatayama) on

Peru has had 33,305 coronavirus-related deaths so far, and the highest per capita COVID-19 mortality rate of any country in the world. While international flights have recently resumed, they are only for seven Latin American countries.

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