Colombia began 2021 with a record-breaking coronavirus outbreak and daily COVID deaths not registered since September 1.
The government of President Ivan Duque has been racing to get its hands on vaccines as COVID hospitalizations are threatening to collapse municipal healthcare systems.
The Health Ministry on Thursday reported a record number of 16,314 infections and 304 deaths, the highest number since September 1.
Daily registered COVID infections
Health authorities were able to maintain the daily number of deaths stable after drastically increasing hospitals’ intensive care units (ICU’s) for months, but no more.
The second surge is reportedly depleting medical supplies for ICU’s in hospitals where health workers were already reporting exhaustion during the first peak.
I can’t sleep because I have several colleagues and friends, and parents of my friends who have been intubated in the ICU. The frontline medical staff is exhausted.
Colombian Medical Federation vice-president Carolina Corcho
The lack of political will to impose measures ahead of the holiday season is now killing people, according to the vice president of the Colombian Medical Federation, Carolina Corcho, and other renowned medical experts.
Daily coronavirus deaths
Duque and Health Minister have promised to begin an unprecedented vaccination campaign in February, but have lost public confidence after consistently failing to fulfill promises.
The government’s effectiveness is limited further by widespread corruption that is blamed for emergency coronavirus aid not arriving where it was supposed to.
Much of the response to the pandemic has fallen on the shoulders of local authorities that have imposed local and regional measures to curb outbreaks.
The national government has mainly focused on the economic effects of the pandemic, which has caused tensions with experts and local authorities, and has complicated an integral response.
This, however, appears to obey to a regional trend as governments throughout the hemisphere are struggling to respond to the biggest pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu and the global economic consequences of the coronavirus.