Authorities imposed strict mobility restrictions on Colombia’s second largest capital Medellin where a surge in COVID-19 infections all but collapsed hospitals.
Acting Governor Luis Fernando Suarez ordered a curfew between 5PM and 5AM in the Antioquia province that surrounds the capital Medellin.
The governor said previously announced mobility restrictions that allow people to go shopping or go to the bank on specific days and took force last week would remain in place.
These measures to restrict mobility were not effectively enforced in Medellin.
The new measures followed health authorities’ warnings that more than 92% of the intensive care units in Colombia’s second largest city were occupied on Monday due to a new coronavirus outbreak.
The Colombian Medical Federations considers a 90% saturation rate critical because it impedes hospitals to timely provide emergency healthcare.
Coronavirus deaths on Tuesday reached their highest level since the end of the second wave in February.
Coronavirus infections and deaths
Regional authorities have drastically ramped up vaccinations as part of the National Vaccination Plan since last week in a race against the clock.
The execution of the unprecedented vaccination drive has been bogged down by problems with distribution and locating the country’s elderly, who are considered a priority because of their vulnerability.
National Vaccination Plan progress
Authorities throughout Colombia also continue to have trouble testing people for COVID-19, which would allow the prevention of outbreaks like in Medellin.
The health ministry said Tuesday that less than 28,000 were tested in the previous 24 hours.
At least 2.4 million people have been infected with the coronavirus in Colombia since the beginning of the pandemic last year. More than 63,000 people have died of COVID-19 since then.