WORLD Colombian capital declares orange alert to curb third wave of COVID-19

WORLD

Colombian capital declares orange alert to curb third wave of COVID-19

Xinhua

07:15, April 06, 2021

BOGOTA, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Colombia's capital Bogota on Monday stepped up pandemic restrictions by declaring an orange alert in a bid to rein in an expected third wave of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A vendor wearing a face mask waits for customers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bogota, Colombia, Oct. 24, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

Stricter measures were necessary as the city's intensive care units (ICUs) are at 64.6 percent capacity and transmission rates are on the rise, Mayor Claudia Lopez said.

"Which puts pressure on hospital capacity and places us on the COVID dashboard's orange alert, which forces us to take new measures and prepare to prevent a dramatic third peak (in cases of infection) in the last week of April," Lopez said.

The District Secretary of Health ordered healthcare centers to suspend all non-urgent procedures.

"Today we are going to work toward three things: enabling between 150 and 160 additional ICUs each week, maximizing the number of tests and strengthening the epidemiological fence" around the virus, said Lopez.

"At this rate, it is necessary to take measures to further contain community transmission and expand hospital capacity," she added.

According to the latest report from the Colombian Ministry of Health, as of Sunday there were 2,446,219 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 64,094 deaths from the disease.

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