2020 coronavirus pandemic in Colombia

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Colombia
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Colombia.svg
Confirmed cases by departments
  No confirmed cases
  <20 confirmed
  20–39 confirmed
  40–59 confirmed
  60–79 confirmed
  80–99 confirmed
  ≥100 confirmed
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
First outbreakWuhan, China (globally)
Milan, Italy (locally)
Index caseBogotá
Arrival date6 March 2020
(4 weeks and 1 day)
Confirmed cases1,161
Official website

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached Colombia on 6 March 2020.[1][2]

As of 17 March, Colombia is denying entry to those who are not Colombian citizens, permanent residents or diplomats.[3]


COVID-19 cases in Colombia  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases
# of cases
# of deaths
57(+27%) 1
75(+32%) 1
102(+36%) 1
128(+25%) 1
175(+37%) 1
210(+20%) 1
235(+12%) 2
306(+30%) 3
378(+24%) 3
470(+24%) 4
491(+5%) 6
539(+10%) 6
608(+13%) 6
702(+16%) 10
798(+14%) 14
906(+14%) 16
1,065(+18%) 17
1,161(+9%) 19
  • Colombia's National Health Institute (INS): [1]

On 6 March, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection confirmed Colombia's first case of coronavirus, a 19-year-old female patient who recently travelled to Milan, Italy.[4][5]

On 9 March, two more cases were confirmed.[6]

On 11 March, six more cases were confirmed, three in Medellín,[7] two in Bogotá and one in Cartagena. Later on the same day, three more cases were confirmed, bringing the total to 9.[8]

On 12 March, four more cases were confirmed, two in Bogotá and two in Neiva.[9] Authorities declared a health emergency, suspending all public events involving more than 500 people, as well as implementing measures intended to keep cruise ships from docking in any national port.[10]

On 13 March, three new cases were reported, one in Bogotá, one in Palmira and the other in Villavicencio.[11] President Iván Duque announced that as of 16 March, entry to Colombia will be restricted for visitors who have been in Europe or Asia within the past 14 days. Colombian citizens and residents who have been in Europe or Asia can be admitted into the country, but must undergo a 14-day self-quarantine as a precaution.[8]

Additionally, Duque announced Colombia would shut down all of its border crossings with Venezuela, effective as of 14 March.[12] Associated Press reported that experts are worried that the Venezuelan refugee crisis could boost the spread of the virus.[13]

On the night of 15 March, the Health Ministry announced 11 new cases, bringing the total up to 45. Of those 11, 6 were in Bogotá, 4 in Neiva and 1 in the town of Facatativá. Additionally, President Iván Duque, along with the Ministries of Health and Education, announced suspension of classes for all public and private schools and universities in the country.[14]

On the morning of 16 March, nine new cases were reported in Bogotá.[15] Later that same day, three additional cases were also reported in Bogotá,[16] bringing the total to 57. President Iván Duque declared all land and sea borders[17] be closed in conjunction with the governments of Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. Córdoba, Meta and Santander Departments issued curfews in order to avoid the spread of the virus.[18][19][20]

Disinfection against coronavirus

On the morning of 17 March, Colombia's Health Ministry confirmed 8 more cases.[21] Later the same day, they confirmed another 10 cases, bringing the total to 75.[22] Cartagena's mayor extended the curfew, which previously applied only to the tourist city center from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., to the whole city from 6:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. during weekdays, and for 24 hours during weekends.[23] Bogotá mayor Claudia López, announced a mandatory isolation drill for the extended weekend, from 20 to 23 March.[24] The Bogotá drill allowed exceptions for the elderly and disabled and delivery personnel to move around. Pet owners were authorized to take animals outside for 20 minutes and one person per family could leave to purchase supplies.[25]

On 17 March, at 9:00 PM local time (GMT-5), President Iván Duque spoke to the Colombians and declared the state of emergency, announcing that he would take economic measures that were announced the following day. The first measure taken seeking the protection of the elderly is to decree mandatory isolation from 7:00 AM on 20 March to 31 May for all adults over 70 years of age. They must remain in their residences except to stock up on food or access health or financial services. Government entities were instructed to make it easier for them to receive their pensions, medicines, healthcare or food at home.[26]

On the evening of 20 March, President Iván Duque announced a 19-day nationwide quarantine, starting on 24 March at midnight and ending on 12 April at midnight.[27]

On 21 March, the Ministry of Health confirmed the first death from coronavirus in Colombia, a 58-year-old man who worked as a taxi driver in Cartagena who died on 16 March and reportedly carried Italian tourists on his taxi on 4 March. According to authorities, the person started presenting symptoms two days later. Initially, COVID-19 had been dismissed as the cause of his death as he had tested negative for coronavirus, however, his sister had tested positive for the disease. After the patient's decease, the National Health Institute (INS) analyzed two tests from him, both of which were negative with one of those being taken improperly, but decided to keep the investigation open owing to his sister's condition. Eventually, the INS concluded that the taxi driver was her only possible source of contagion, therefore attributing his death to the new virus in spite of the laboratory evidence stating otherwise.[28]

On the evening of 21 March, about 23 prisoners were killed and 83 injured during a riot at La Modelo prison in Bogotá which erupted amid fears over spreading of the coronavirus through prison walls.[29][30] Prisoners across the country were protesting against overcrowding in prisons as well as poor health services ever since the outbreak of COVID-19.[31]

On 22 March, the Ministry of Health confirmed the second death linked to the virus, a 70-year-old woman from Yumbo whose daughter had returned from Cuba on 2 March and reported to have had contact with two people from the United States, one of which had tested positive for coronavirus. In addition to this, 21 new cases were reported, bringing the total up to 231.[32]

Confirmed new cases per day in Colombia


  1. ^ "Twitter". Archived from the original on 7 March 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Colombia confirma su primer caso de COVID-19". Archived from the original on 9 March 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Coronavirus: Which countries have travel bans?". 17 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  4. ^ @MinSaludCol (6 March 2020). "#ATENCIÓN" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Colombia confirma su primer caso de COVID-19".
  6. ^ "Coronavirus en Colombia: confirman dos nuevos casos en Medellín y Buga". El Tiempo. 9 March 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Confirman tres nuevos casos de coronavirus en Medellín". La FM. 11 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  8. ^ a b @MinSaludCol (11 March 2020). "Confirmamos 6 nuevos casos de coronavirus COVID-19 en Colombia. Los pacientes se encuentran en Bogotá, Medellín y Cartagena. Con esto, el número de casos confirmados en el país asciende a 9 personas" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  9. ^ "Coronavirus en Colombia". Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Colombia declares health emergency to tackle coronavirus". 12 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Tres nuevos casos de coronavirus: Bogotá, Palmira y Villavicencio". El Tiempo. 13 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Duque ordena cerrar los pasos fronterizos con Venezuela". El Tiempo (in Spanish). 13 March 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  13. ^ Smith, Scott (13 March 2020). "Venezuela, already in crisis, reports 1st coronavirus cases". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Colombia closes schools and universities in attempt to combat coronavirus". 16 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Suben los casos de coronavirus en Colombia: ya son 54". 16 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Colombia suma tres nuevos casos de coronavirus". 16 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Duque ordena cerrar todas las fronteras terrestres y marítimas". 16 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Toque de queda y ley seca en el Meta por alerta de coronavirus". 16 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Córdoba, con toque de queda para evitar propagación del coronavirus". 16 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Toque de queda en Santander por coronavirus". 16 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Twiiter - MinSaludCol".
  22. ^ "Confirman 10 nuevos casos de covid-19 en Colombia: ya son 75 en total". 17 March 2020.
  23. ^ "Alcaldía anuncia toque de queda en toda Cartagena". 17 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Bogotá hará simulacro de aislamiento obligatorio". 17 March 2020.
  25. ^ "A Muted Bogota Awakes to Coronavirus Quarantine Drill". U.S. News & World Report. 20 March 2020.
  26. ^ "Duque ordena aislamiento obligatorio a mayores de 70 años". 17 March 2020.
  27. ^ "Colombia to hold 19-day quarantine to fight coronavirus". Reuters. 20 March 2020.
  28. ^ "Se confirma la primera muerte en Colombia por coronavirus" (in Spanish). El Tiempo. 21 March 2020.
  29. ^ "Colombia coronavirus: 23 killed in prison riot". Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  30. ^ Vera, Amir. "23 dead in prison riot in Colombia prompted by coronavirus fears, Ministry of Justice says". CNN. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  31. ^ "At least 23 killed in Colombia prison unrest". BBC News. 23 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  32. ^ "MinSalud confirma segunda muerte por coronavirus en Colombia". La FM (in Spanish). 22 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
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