Faced with the increase in infections and occupation of beds in intensive care units (UCI) in some of the main cities of the country, several leaders have announced some measures for the arrival of the fourth peak from pandemic of covid-19.
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In fact, Alejandro Gómez, Secretary of Health of Bogota, states that this possibility had been suspected, so much so that this new wave was expected for the month of November. “It seems that it has been delayed a bit, but we will still have an increase in patients by December”, assures the official.
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In Santa Marta, the hospital orange alert was declared in the last hours due to the considerable increase in positive cases of covid-19 that have been requiring care in clinics.
Mayor Virna Johnson clarified that this increase in positive cases could lead to people who need to be hospitalized in the ICU and in greater number of deaths, for which the decision was made to declare the alert to control the situation, and more at the end of the year.
Another city that lists measures is Cartagena. According to William Dau, mayor of the city, this Saturday he will meet with the Ministers of the Interior, Daniel Palacios, and of Health, Fernando Ruiz, and they will define the measures to be taken.
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Among the measures that will be adopted for the first tourist city in the country are the restriction of the entry of not vaccinated to public places and that businesses require a vaccination card with a complete schedule.
In the last hours, Cartagena de Indias reported two deaths and 107 new cases of covid-19. The occupancy of adult ICU beds in the entire Cartagena hospital network is 66 percent.
In turn, the mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero Calle, announced that in the face of an increase in infections, he would impose restrictive measures for those not vaccinated, such as the night curfew.
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“The restrictions will be for unvaccinated people, who will have problems to enter restaurants, to enter public places; And if things get worse, we are going to put a curfew on them. It is a personal decision to get vaccinated or not to be vaccinated, but if eventually the contagion problem were to increase and it was concentrated in the unvaccinated, obviously we would place restrictions on the unvaccinated, “said Quintero Calle.
In recent days, infections in Antioquia increased by 60 percent, approaching 500 daily cases, when in September and October the department had managed to reduce them to 300 and fewer daily cases.
According to the Sectional Secretariat of Health of Antioquia, there are 323 hospitalized patients: 222 in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 101 in general hospitalization.
Regarding the ICU beds in the department, among which are those destined for the care of patients with covid-19 and patients with other pathologies, Antioquia has a total of 1,017 beds, now with an occupancy of 83.87%.
This percentage means that 853 are occupied like this: 135 with covid patients, 35 with covid suspects and 683 with non-covid.
Given the increase in cases, the governor in charge of Antioquia, Luis Fernando Suárez, described the arrival of the fourth peak of covid-19 to this territory, although it ruled out restrictive measures.
The restrictions will be for unvaccinated people, who will have problems entering public places
In Barranquilla, the head of the District Security Office, Nelson Patron, explained that the city will not take measures and that until now the demand for vaccination card to people who wish to enter massive events, such as concerts and games at the Metropolitan Stadium, and to nightclubs.
In Valle del Cauca, although there is fear of the arrival of a fourth peak, there is still no talk of restrictive measures.
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According to data from the department’s Health Secretariat, there are 82 patients in critical condition due to covid-19, which is why they are in intensive care units (ICU).
On Saturday, November 20, 80 patients were reported in the ICU, and the following day the record rose for two more admissions.
The Valle del Cauca Health Secretariat also reported that throughout the department there are 1,181 enabled beds, of which 82 are occupied by these patients and the remaining 669 by patients with other pathologies. That is, 6.9 percent of the ICU bed occupancy is by covid patients.
Regarding the positivity of the covid-19 tests at the national level, the National Institute of Health reports that in the third week of November the percentage in the country is 6.6 percent, while the national historical maximum reached 30 percent.
What is happening?
Given the evidence of the increase in cases, Luis Alexánder Moscoso, Vice Minister of Health, conditioned this situation, on the one hand, to the increase in the circulation of the delta variant, which in places like San Andrés is involved in 90% of infections .
On the other hand, an increase in the mobility of people, which in the case of the holiday bridge at the end of October increased by 40 percent, and with it, the risk of accelerating infections, so much so that this is already observed in greater hospitalizations and potentially in future loss of life.
(Also read: The pandemic in Colombia would go until June 2022, according to the INS)
Although the last bridge promoted less contact between people, Moscoso says this is a warning of what could happen in December, which due to the celebrations and other characteristics could trigger the transmission of the virus if the measures are not reinforced.
Regarding the occupation of UC beds today, there are 631 people with confirmed covid-19 and 187 suspected, with a total availability of beds of 42.55%, between 70 and 75% of those who occupy them are not vaccinated, between the 20 and 25 percent are people vaccinated with complete schedules, and 5 percent of people who, even with complete schedules, have comorbidities or are older adults who have not received the third dose, which is why it calls for people to come to get vaccinated.
“The diagnosis is clear, but we have the option of reducing transmission if we achieve higher first doses and full schedules.“Moscoso concluded.
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