As coronavirus cases around the world surge with the rapid spread of the predominant Delta variant, in Colombia, new per day cases continue to decelerate. On Thursday, the country registered 6,540 additional infections, numbers close to those reported by health officials on March 24 this year. The country also confirmed 206 deaths from the disease and the lowest single-day fatalities since April 5 with 199 victims.

The encouraging downward trend in per day cases below 10,000 began July 28 with 9,364 and significant improvement since Colombia registered its worst day of the pandemic with 33,594 cases on June 26. Since the outbreak on March 6, 2020, Colombia has totaled 4,821,603 infections and 121,899 fatalities. The majority of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths occurred during the third wave of infection that began during the first week of April and extended three months with anti-government demonstrations.

Colombian Vice-Minister of Health Luis Alexander Moscoso recently affirmed that the civil unrest added thousands of victims to the rising death toll. “The strikes, mobilizations, impossibility during these times of taking measures generated a new peak […] and that fourth peak lasted 40 days – and in those forty days – 15,000 lost their lives to COVID-19.”

The deceleration in the daily case count comes as Colombia nears a benchmark of 30 million doses of coronavirus vaccines given to persons age 25 or over. On Thursday, the National Vaccination Plan administered an additional 405,413 doses to complete 29,013,935 jabs, and that corresponds to 16.3 million citizens getting the first dose and 12.7 million completing the inoculation cycle.

Colombia’s 30 million doses on Sunday represent 43% of 70 million doses that were acquired directly from pharmaceuticals and through the WHO’ COVAX mechanism. The 70 million doses would secure herd immunity among 40 million adults, or figure cited by epidemiologists as the necessary 70% of Colombia’s total population.