In Medellín, the governor of Antioquia Department in Colombia, Luis Fernando Suarez, has stated that due to the increase in COVID-19 infections, and the occupancy of hospital intensive care units reaching 89.21%, the government would reimpose a 5pm-5am curfew, and also ban sales of alcoholic beverages during the same hours.
“This curfew will apply to the 125 municipalities of Antioquia in a generalized manner. It will start from March 21 and run until the Monday after Easter, April 5,” said Juarez. “”By last Monday we had 89.21% occupancy of ICU beds in the entire department of Antioquia, but in the Aburrá Valley the occupancy reached 94% and in eastern Antioquia 95%.”
This week, leading up to Easter, is normally the busiest travel week of the year for Colombians, as they take time off to visit family or vacation destinations.
Pico Y Cédula
Entrance to retail establishments is also restricted. Holders of even ID numbers may enter malls and stores on even dates, and the same for odd numbers, based on the last number of the holder’s cédula (Colombian national ID) or foreign passport.
Churches are allowed to open, and people who must travel during the evening, such as commutes from work are permitted. Travelers may also traverse distances at night, such as between cities, but must carry documentation proving their destination, such as hotel reservations or some sort of itinerary.
“The circulation by national roads is not prohibited. A person who leaves for Coveñas or Cartagena, for example, even at times where there are restrictions, can do so by showing that they are going to a national tourist destination,” said Suarez.
The governor admonished Paisas (people from Antioquia and the coffee region to the south) that indiscipline has led to the high rate of infection. “”The main measure is self-care, there is no doubt that we have lowered our guard, that we have neglected, that the virus is still present and today it is presenting a massive contagion that leads to greater occupation of ICU beds,” said Suarez.
According to the governor, Medellín has increased the number of ICU (hospital Intensive Care Unit) beds from 1,205 to 1,290. Las Monday, 1,442 new COVID cases were reported, with a historical total of 369,749 cases, 352,359 recoveries, 6,952 deaths, and 9,475 active infections.