The mayor of Bogota announced Colombia’s capital will go on lockdown as one of multiple measures to prevent that a surge in COVID-19 infections collapse the city’s hospitals.
In a speech, Mayor Claudia Lopez said Monday that authorities will additionally impose mobility restrictions during the week.
Unlike the long weekend lockdown, the mobility restrictions allow people to go to work, but restrict the entry of public offices and commercial establishments.
The measures in Bogota are part of a number of measures taken by national and local authorities to curb a recent surge in infections.
Coronavirus infections and deaths
Health Minister Fernando Ruiz, for example, said Monday that travelers will only be allowed to board flights into and inside Colombia if they can show negative coronavirus test results.
In major cities like Medellin and Barranquilla, where hospitals are all but saturated, a curfew that was put in place ahead of Holy Week has been extended.
Health authorities throughout Colombia are struggling to deal with the surge in infections while trying to execute President Ivan Duque‘s National Vaccination Plan.
The most ambitious vaccination drive in history is being hindered by failures in the distribution and application of vaccine shots to healthcare workers and people of 60 and older.
National Vaccination Plan progress
Duque and Ruiz have promised to vaccinate 35 million of Colombia’s 50 million inhabitants before the end of the year, a target they are increasingly unlikely to meet.
Particularly in rural areas, private healthcare intermediaries have had trouble reaching out to elderly citizens and facilitate their vaccination.
Consequently, doctors and nurses have only been able to apply a fraction of the vaccine shots needed to meet the government’s target.
Healthcare organizations have been calling on the government not to include the notoriously corrupt intermediaries in the National Vaccination Plan.