Colombia breaks pandemic record with 34,923 COVID-19 infections

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EFE/ Ernesto Guzmán Jr.

Colombia registered 34,923 additional cases of coronavirus on Friday, and highest number of infections since the start of the pandemic almost two years ago.

The previous record was set on June 26, 2021, during the third peak when the Ministry of Health confirmed 33,594 positive cases. The country also registered 106 deaths, highest figure since August 19, when the disease claimed an additional 120 victims. Colombian President Iván Duque warned last week that due to the predominance of the Omicron variant, the country could report between 30,000 to 40,000 positive cases per day, and projection that shows the rapid spread of infections before an expected peak in mid-February. With this new data, Colombia has accumulated 130,731 deaths from coronavirus and 5,475,904 infections, of which 137,729 remain active.

The cities – and departments – with the highest infections on Friday were Bogotá (8,408), Antioquia (4,814), Valle del Cauca (4,642), Bolívar (2,555), Atlántico (2,310), Cundinamarca (1,479), Santander (1,053) and Caldas (979). The deaths over the last 24 occurred mostly in Valle del Cauca (24), Antioquia (21), Bolívar (10); Bogotá, Norte de Santander and Santander (6).

Despite the surge in daily case numbers, the Ministry of Health administered on the same day more than 330,000 vaccines, of which of which 132,321 were second doses and 17,428 single-doses by the U.S pharmaceutical Janssen. Colombia is expected over the weekend to reach a benchmark of 70 million doses of coronavirus vaccines. Dr. Julián Fernández, director of epidemiology and demographics at the Ministry of Health, assured that in Colombia the Covid-19 pandemic is  asynchronous given that peaks are occuring by region, as is the case in Cali, Medellín and Bogotá. In Barranquilla, however, Fernández affirms that “deaths are not increasing, and the curve remains flattened.”