The measures to curb the spreading of the coronavirus are the toughest since April last year when the national government began a gradual reactivation of the economy.
In response to a warning of the Health Ministry, Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez expanded a partial lockdown and Medellin Mayor Daniel Quintero issued a total lockdown that will last until Tuesday morning.
Newly registered coronavirus infections
According to Lopez, the arrival of the more infectious strain of the coronavirus is rapidly saturating Bogota’s healthcare system where hospitalizations are “through the rough.”
The lockdown that took force in the north of the city on Monday will be extended until the 17th and expanded in localities in the northwest starting Tuesday.
This lockdown will be lifted on the 21st, according to the Mayor’s Office.
Medellin’s mayor said that the coronavirus strain that originates from Britain “probably” has begun infecting people in Colombia’s second largest city too and also ordered a full lockdown and a curfew from 7PM until 5AM.
While the mayors and governors have begun issuing measures to curb an uncontrollable outbreak of the coronavirus, Health Minister Fernando Ruiz has been trying to coordinate a vaccination campaign.
The vaccination of high priority cases like people over 80 and healthcare personnel will begin in the second week of February, Ruiz said Wednesday.
The minister issued mandatory testing for people traveling from abroad earlier this week as the government is carefully rewinding relaxation measures.
Both national and local authorities blame the recent surge in infections on the possible arrival of the more infectious strain of the coronavirus and holiday celebrations in December.