For the first time in 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic, the department of Amazonas and capital Leticia, reported on Thursday zero fatalities from the virus. Leticia, home to a majority indigenous population was at the epicenter of infections and deaths just three months after the first case in the country was detected on March 6. The news was confirmed on Friday by the Ministry of Health’s chief epidemiologist Julián Fernández. The public health official attributed the zero deaths to ongoing efforts by the national government to administer vaccines in remote and vulnerable communities.
The majority of Leticia’s 40,000 residents received the Chinese manufactured Sinovac vaccine. “Colombia has maintained for more than a month a progressive and sustained trend towards a reduction in the number of cases and deaths,” highlighted Fernández on the same day the country registered 1,803 cases of infection and 53 deaths, raising the total numbers to 4,925,000 and 125,480, respectively. The number of active cases stand at 23,058.
The deceleration comes as President Iván Duque announced the launch of the country’s digital vaccination certificate with QR code and that can be downloaded to smart phones and other electronic devices. Some 330,000 citizens have already downloaded the internationally recognized certificate. And despite the lowering in daily cases, Health Minister Fernando Fernando Ruíz urged Colombians to not lower their guard with the virus and maintain biosecurity protocols. “There is a high probability of a fourth peak and therefore we must all be responsible for preventing deaths,” stated Ruíz. “The fourth peak, could have a shorter duration than the third, but the mortality rate remains unknown given the presence of the MU and Delta variants.”