Every Colombian city must adopt tougher coronavirus restrictions as of April 5 to help mitigate the surge in new infections in the days and weeks following the Easter holidays. The new restrictions were presented by the Ministries of Health and Interior and confirmed Sunday night by President Iván Duque during an address to the nation from Cartagena.
Medellín and Barranquilla have already adopted the government recommendations, but nine others including the capital Bogotá, as well as Cali, Tunja, Armenia, Pereira, Santa Marta, Leticia, Pereira, and Montería have until Monday to implement the identity card restriction Pico y cédula and night curfews. The measures extend to April 19.
For cities with ICU occupation between 50% and 69% – as is currently the situation in Bogotá – residents once again will be barred from entering supermarkets, stores, and all other commercial establishments if the last digit of the identity card coincides with Odd or Even days of the week. Residents will also be placed under curfew from midnight to 5:00 a.m.
Cities with ICU occupation between 70% and 79% must also enact Pico y cédula and extend curfew from 10:00 p.m to 5:00 a.m., for cities with ICU occupation between 80% and 85% curfew begins at 8:00 p.m., and for cities with ICU occupation above 85% curfew begins at 6:00 p.m. The government has excluded hotels, restaurants, and parks from the identity card restriction. President Duque also recommended that every family that traveled during Holy Week voluntarily quarantine for at least seven days. “I invite all Colombians to consciously adopt the measures to avoid a painful third peak in our country,” he said.
After a marked decrease in coronavirus cases in February as the country averaged 3,500 per-day cases, since late March and start of the so-called “third wave,” Colombia has been accumulating daily averages in the 10,000 range. On Sunday, the country’s COVID case total was 2,445.219, of which, 56,171 remain “active.”
The department of Antioquia and city of Barranquilla are at the epicenter of the third wave recording the highest numbers of infections on Sunday with 2,305 and 1,714 respectively.
Bogotá’s ICU occupancy for coronavirus is 65%. Bogotá Mayor Claudia López confirmed Monday that the city has returned to Orange Alert status and that all non non-essential medical procedures have been suspended. “As I said before Easter, the “third wave” has begun […], and could peak during the last week of April. The intensity of this curve depends on each and everyone of us,” she emphasized. Mayor López also made clear that other measures – including a return to rotating lockdowns by localities – could be announced later in the day after a meeting with the government’s epidemiological committee.