Colombian doctors are urging president Iván Duque to impose a strict lockdown in the city of Bogota and the most affected areas of the country after record increases in both Covid-19 cases and related deaths were reported on Thursday.
Dr. Herman Bayona, president of the College of Doctors of Bogota told CNN on Friday: “It’s evident that the virus is spreading faster than our capacity to treat patients and test them. This week has been a remarkable acceleration.”
ICUs occupancy rate is over 90% in Bogota, Bayona added.
Bayona also stressed that thousands of new Covid-19 cases have been reported from regions that so far were lightly affected by the pandemic, signaling Covid-19 is no longer confined in the main two hotspots in Bogota and the Atlantic coast.
The country’s president has so far resisted calls to re-impose lockdowns after they were partially lifted at the beginning of June.
“To think that the only alternative is only a total lockdown clearly cannot be the solution” Duque told a local radio station on Thursday responding to recent criticism.
Some context: Earlier in the week, 14 medical associations published an open letter calling authorities for a total lockdown to be imposed in Colombia’s capital with immediate effect.
Several of Colombia’s largest cities — such as Bogota, Barranquilla and Cartagena — are currently under localized lockdowns imposed by local authorities rather than a centralized plan mandated by the government.
On Thursday evening, Colombia’s Ministry of Health reported a total of 173,206 Covid-19 cases with 8,037 new cases in the last 24 hours. The country death toll reached 6,029 deaths with 215 new deaths.