Medellin declared a red alert, a curfew and a liquor ban for the upcoming weekend as Colombia appears to be entering a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Colombia’s health minister Fernando Ruiz authorized the tightening of restrictions on Wednesday after local authorities registered an increase in infections throughout October.
To prevent a surge in infections during the long Halloween weekend, Medellin and the nine municipalities that make up the city’s metropolitan area will uphold a 10PM to 6AM curfew from Friday to Monday.
In his daily propaganda show on social media, President Ivan Duque said that minor measures that are currently in place will be extended until the end of November.
Duque reiterated that the pandemic will prevent the traditional celebration of Christmas in December and stressed the importance of self-care like the wearing of masks in public.
The president explicitly warned for a tougher response to large gatherings as anti-government protests are being organized for November 21.
Medical organizations, who commemorated health workers who died in Tuesday, reiterated that the government’s measures continue to be insufficient to prevent the unnecessary loss of life.
“They haven’t done what they ought to, self-care is insufficient,” Carolina Corcho, the vice-president of the Colombian Medical Federation (FMC), said Wednesday.
The FMC and other medial organizations protested the government’s alleged negligence in the preparation of hospital personnel before Congress on Tuesday.
During the protest, the medical organizations paid tribute to colleagues who died of COVID-19 while trying to combat the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu in 1918.
The health organizations’ calls for stricter measures are fiercely opposed by business association whose members are hurt by the economic consequences of the pandemic and measures to prevent mass death.
Since March, more than a million Colombians have been infected by the virus and more than 30,000 have died of COVID-19.