Omicron slows in Colombia, but active cases still above 110,000

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EFE/Carlos Ortega

The U.S Department of State, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), renewed Colombia on its “Level Four” advisory, warning citizens to “avoid all travel” to the country.

Joining Canada, UAE, Kuwait, Peru and several popular Caribbean islands (Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin), as well as Dominican Republic as destinations where more than 500 cases of COVID-19 have been registered per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days, the “Level Four” update comes as Colombia appears to be bending the Omicron curve.

Since reporting a record high of 35,575 cases on January 15, on Tuesday, the country confirmed 19,512 infections putting total active cases at 116,698. The Ministry of Health also reported 260 deaths during the last 24-hours, highest number since August 3, 2021.Most of the day’s fatalities occurred in the department of Antioquia (51), followed by Valle del Cauca (43), and Bogotá (30), accounting for almost half of the deaths in the country.

Bogotá remains at the epicenter of Omicron with the most confirmed cases on Tuesday with 6,774, followed by the departments of Antioquia (1,823), Atlántico (1,540), Santander (1,496) and Valle del Cauca (1,389).

Most of South America remains in the grip of the Omicron surge with 200,290 cases reported in Brazil on Tuesday, 44,496 in Peru, 18,446 in Chile and 10,751 in Uruguay, to name a few.

On the heels of the CDC’s travel advisory, Colombia continues with its successful COVID-19 vaccination roll-out and mandatory face mask compliance, surpassing on Tuesday, 70.3 million doses administered. The fully vaccinated in the country now represent 62% of the total population (50.1 million), and close to 80% have received one dose. Despite population disparities (50.1 million versus 330 million), Colombia’s 62% fully vaccinated approaches the U.S where 63.7% are fully vaccinated, and compared to 78% north of the border, in Canada.