Colombia Expands Coronavirus Restrictions As Infections Rise | News on the coronavirus pandemic

Nighttime curfews will vary depending on the occupancy rate of intensive care units in various Colombian cities, the president said.

Colombia will extend coronavirus-related curfews in various cities across the country, President Ivan Duque said, as admissions to intensive care units have increased amid an increase in infections.

In remarks shared on social media, Duque said on Sunday that restrictions would vary based on occupancy rates in intensive care units.

The curfew will be in place from Monday and will continue until April 19, he said.

“It is clear that… some municipalities have posted increases in the last few weeks and there is also the risk of a further national increase in the coming weeks,” Duque said. “We must act, prevent and take the appropriate decisions.”

Colombia had already repeatedly warned people not to let their guard down during the Easter holidays and put in place curfews on weekends.

The country has reported more than 2.4 million COVID-19 cases and more than 63,900 deaths, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University – and this is one of the several in Latin America see an increase in infections.

Colombian cities with an intensive care unit occupancy rate greater than 85% will have a curfew from 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. local time, while those with a capacity between 80 and 85% will have a curfew. curfews from 8:00 p.m.

Curfews will begin at 10 p.m. in cities with 70-79% occupancy, while those between 50-69% will be restricted from midnight to 5 a.m.

Bogota, the nation’s capital, had intensive care unit occupancy rates of 65.5% on Saturday night, while coastal towns, including Barranquilla, were around 90%.

Duque also said Bogota and several other Colombian cities were under surveillance due to the increase in infections and deaths.

Several Latin American countries have seen an increase in COVID-19 infections, deaths and hospitalizations in recent weeks, while many are also struggling to obtain vaccines to immunize their populations.

In Chile, residents have raised concerns about the economic cost another strict government-imposed lockdown, which was recently put in place to stem the surge in cases.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro faced widespread criticism and reprimand as deaths from COVID-19 hit an all-time high last month. Brazilian hospitals have been pushed to their limits as younger patients get sicker and sicker with the virus.

Colombia was the first country in the Americas to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the United Nations-backed COVAX program, receiving 117,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on March 1.

The country started his vaccination campaign in February and it has administered nearly 2.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far.

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) chief Carissa Etienne said last week that securing vaccines was the region’s biggest challenge.

Elderly man receives his first dose of Chinese Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in Bogota, Colombia last month [File: Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters]

“This is in large part due to production delays as manufacturers rush to increase capacity. But we also see far too many examples of vaccine nationalism, which further limits global availability ”. Etienne said during a press briefing March 31.

“The current system is wired for inequity and that is not acceptable. Vaccines should be available to all who need them, regardless of where they live. “

As of March 30, Etienne said 124 million people in the Americas had received at least one vaccine against COVID-19, while more than 58 million more had been fully immunized.

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