Peru tells people to not invite guests from outside to home for holiday parties

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's government on Wednesday told people in the country not to invite friends and family who live outside the home to Christmas and New Year celebrations, a measure aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus cases in Peru totaled 987,675 as of Tuesday with 36,817 deaths so far, according to official figures. Health authorities are warning of a possible second wave of infections early next year.

"Families who live together can be together, but we should not go to visit our other relatives, friends or friends because the pandemic continues," Prime Minister Violeta Bermudez, referring to the Christmas celebrations and New Year, said during a news conference.

Officials called on people to find creative ways to meet virtually during the holidays.

"We fear that we must avoid unnecessary trips during Christmas and New Years when we can connect by electronic means. The best gift we can give our loved ones in these circumstances is to take care of ourselves," interim President Francisco Sagasti said at the same news conference.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino; writing by Hugh Bronstein; editing by Jonathan Oatis)