Colombia announces ease of restrictions despite third COVID-19 wave

 Friday, June 4, 2021 


On Thursday, June 3, Colombia announced that it has decided to ease lockdown restrictions despite dealing with a third peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move is being undertaken in order to restart the economy of the country that has been harshly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ministry of Health has announced that the country will not require a negative coronavirus certificate from travelers who will arrive by air. All concerts, large sporting events, and nightclubs will be allowed to operate with 25% capacity in cities that have less than 85% occupancy of ICU beds. The number is subjected to rise to 50% in cities that have vaccinated 70% of their population in the first stage including health workers, teachers, older adults and patients diagnosed with chronic diseases.

Colombia will also allow students to return to their classrooms once the aimed vaccination of teachers is done by July. According to government reports, the country has administered 10.3 million doses of vaccine amongst its population of 50 million. It has received 14 million doses of Pfizer, AstraZenaca and Sinovac as of now. Columbian Health Minister Fernando Ruiz said in a statement that vaccination does not mean the country cannot have a fourth peak. He shared that it is important to continue hand washing, usage of face masks and maintenance of social distancing.

Columbia’s business sector welcomed the easing of restrictions. However, healthcare sectors in cities like Bogota, Medellin and Cali have been exhausted with ICUs reaching full occupancy. Columbia saw a rise in cases following recent political protests on the road. With t he country reporting 28,600 new cases in 24 hours doctors fear a worsening of situation with the reopening. Colombia currently has  a total of 3.4 million COVID-19 cases with 90,300 deaths.

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