Colombia eases lockdown measures despite 3rd virus peak – News Vibe24

    Colombia eases lockdown measures despite 3rd virus peak - Times of India
    BOGOTA: Colombia moved on Thursday to reactivate its economy by loosening several lockout measures, despite still struggling for a third peak in the pandemic, which has been exacerbated by a month full of anti-government street protests.
    The Ministry of Health said Colombia would no longer require a negative coronavirus test from travelers entering the country by air and that students would return to classrooms once teachers’ vaccinations were completed in July.
    The ministry also announced that concerts, major sporting events and nightclubs with a capacity of 25% are allowed in cities with less than 85% capacity in ICU beds. This could increase capacity to 50% in cities that have vaccinated 70% of their population in the first stage, which includes older adults, health professionals, educators and patients with chronic diseases.
    Colombia, with a population of 50 million, has received 14 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer, Sinovac and AstraZeneca and has administered 10.3 million doses, according to government figures.
    “This does not mean we cannot have a fourth peak,” Health Minister Fernando Ruiz said in a statement. “We will continue using the mask, hand washing and distance.”
    Colombia’s business sector has celebrated the easing of restrictions, but some healthcare workers in cities such as Bogota, Cali and Medellin have said they are exhausted with ICUs reaching 96% to 99% occupancy rates.
    “At the beginning of the pandemic we were called angels, the super protectors of these patients,” said Fabián Pardo Rodríguez, a nursing assistant at La Samaritana University Hospital. “From now on, we feel completely alone with what is happening.”
    The hospital, located in central Bogota, is at full capacity and has created a place called a “peace room” where families can see the lifeless bodies of their loved ones from a distance.
    Doctors fear the pandemic is worsening, with the country reporting 28,600 coronavirus infections in 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 3.4 million. There have been 90,300 deaths associated with Covid-19, the disease that can be caused by the virus.

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