Health

Pandemic ravaging Colombia amid one of its worst crises

Bogota, May 14 (EFE).- While Colombia is going through one of its worst social and political crises due to protests, deaths from Covid-19 reached 80,250 as the country is unable to overcome the third wave of the pandemic, which has collapsed the hospital system in several cities.

Colombia added 16,581 cases and 490 deaths Friday, totalling 3 million infections and 80,250 fatalities in one of the most critical moments of the health emergency due to the high occupancy of intensive care units.

Experts said this wave could have no limit because after more than a year of the pandemic, locking people in a strict quarantine is impossible and because the country should at least be inoculating about 300,000 people daily, but currently does not reach 200,000.

“This peak has no roof, it can go up whatever it is. We have no predictability, I really don’t think the peak will go down while people are on the street, especially with protests,” infectologist Carlos Torres Martinez said in an interview with EFE.

He said the National Vaccination Plan, with which 7 million doses of the vaccines have been administered, progresses very slowly “to an extreme degree,” so that “as long as we do not have protection we will have an extended peak that can last for months.”

“In this (peak) we have seen 500 deaths a day since April and we will continue like this or it will increase even more as long as there is no proper care for each person, not depending on being locked up, and if there is no vaccination it is the perfect storm for the peak continue, “he added.

The most critical situation is faced by Bogota, which continues on hospital red alert and today added 4,433 infections and 103 deaths, the second highest daily report of cases and fatalities since the pandemic began, while the occupation of intensive care units passed 94 percent.

Hundreds of patients in the capital, the region most affected by the pandemic with 857,411 infections, are waiting for the allocation of an intensive care unit bed, which is increasingly difficult because young patients remain hospitalized for longer.

“We are in a situation in which the growth of the contagion has been absolutely pivotal. We have a particularity and that is that the younger population is being affected and they tend to spend more days in the intensive care unit, which makes a difference with the past peaks,” Health Minister Fernando Ruiz said.

Torres attributed this to the normal migration of the virus, as there is a certain level of inoculation in older people who, being protected, become less infected or less seriously ill, and because a large part has already been infected and have immunity, even if it is partial.

“That is why you see younger people more and more infected and in intensive care. Also, young people often tend to feel immune to the coronavirus and are quite irresponsible in their day-to-day activities,” he said. EFE

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