Despite her city’s almost saturated hospitals, Lopez said she was optimistic Bogota’s healthcare system won’t collapse as the pandemic is expected to hit the capital in full force in the coming two months.
To slow down the spread of COVID-19 in the critical weeks ahead, half of Bogota will be on lockdown from Monday on in an experimental rotating lockdown system.
Burying the hatchet with Duque
The mayor also openly highlighted cooperation with Health Minister Fernando Ruiz, with whom she has clashed on multiple occasions over the past months.
The make-up was an apparent attempt to jointly confront what could be the most challenging months both for Lopez and President Ivan Duque, and governability in general.
Medical organizations all but optimistic
Medical organizations were considerably less optimistic than the mayor about the resilience of Bogota’s public healthcare system that has suffered from historical neglect.
Bogota’s healthcare secretary said Sunday that almost 90% of the city’s intensive care units (ICU’s) are full.
Additionally, the government’s failure to provide personal protection equipment to healthcare personnel has dramatically reduced the number of intensivists and registered nurses that could take care of critically ill patients, according to Bogota Medical College director Herman Bedoya.
The physical capacity can be multiplied, but the same does not apply to intensivists, specialists and care staff. In anticipation, we expanded the staff as much as possible. In both ways, we trained and retrained the medical and care staff available to deal with the peak of the pandemic when we get there.
Bogota Medical College director Herman Bedoya.
The president of the Medical Association of intensive care, Jose Luis Accini, was considerably more concerned about a possible collapse and said they have been training personnel to make sure there are people to run the extra ICU’s and ventilators.
However, horrible labor conditions are depleting as personnel have walked out, fallen ill or have been forced into quarantine, said Accini.
According to the INS, Bogota has registered almost 50,000 confirmed cases since early March, almost one third of the entire country.
Of these people, 1,123 have died.