The second long weekend in June marked Father’s Day, and for Colombians, 100 days of Preventive Obligatory Isolation. With the fifth extension of quarantine scheduled to end July 1, and relaxed measures to a decree that began on March 25 with the strict lockdown of the country’s 48 million citizens, on Tuesday, total coronavirus cases reached 73,572 of which 40,586 remain active. According to the Ministry of Health’s daily bulletin, of total cases, 30,459 have recovered.
After a three-day weekend in which the country processed a record 52,000 PCR tests, and confirmed almost 8,000 additional cases, on Tuesday, cases decreased modestly to 2,389 after 14,323 additional tests.
With total deaths from COVID-19 at 2,404, on Tuesday 94 fatalities were registered across the country, of which 49 occurred in coastal cities and departments, and 22 in the capital Bogotá. Other fatalities from the disease took place in Chocó, Valle, Cundinamarca, Tolima and Nariño. Bogotá has 30% of the nation’s total cases – 22,409.
On Saturday after Mayor Claudia López received the first batch of 137 respirators from the Minister of Health to alleviate the burden on city hospitals for intensive care units, much of Bogotá seemed abuzz with economic activity given that small commercial outlets and malls reopened their doors to shoppers, just in time for last-minute Father’s Day gifts.
But while the majority of the city’s nine million residents were respecting self-isolation, the National Police had to shut-down more than 2,200 parties, including some taking place inside shuttered-up bars, clubs, even brothels. In videos circulating on social media, revelers can be seen dancing and consuming liquor on the streets of Cali, Quibdó, Bucaramanga and Medellín. Law enforcement handed-out over 11,000 fines to partiers.
According to Police, 597 parties in Bogotá were intervened, 380 in Medellín and 141 across the department of Atlántico and whose capital – Barranquilla – is among the worst affected with COVID-19 mortality.
Faced with growing social indiscipline after more than three months of quarantine, President Iván Duque announced: “drastic measures to contain the exponential growth of the pandemic.” These measures included extending quarantine to July 15, while allowing more sectors of the economy to restart work. President Duque had stated during a meeting with business leaders Tuesday morning that extending quarantine after July 1 was “unsustainable.” The meeting coincided with the launch of a new government campaign for economic reactivation called: Colombia Arranca Seguro – #ColombiaArrancaSeguro.