Medellin, Antioquia Confront Covid-19 Surge by Banning Booze, Bars, Halloween
Area Metropolitana de Valle de Aburrá (AMVA) – the metro Medellin council of governments – announced October 26 that all local governments except Girardota will impose a curfew on minors (under 18) this Halloween holiday weekend — 6 pm Friday, October 30 through midnight Monday, November 2– and likewise ban all sales of liquor.
The move comes in response to a surge of Covid-19 cases locally and nationally, all caused by careless, ignorant or selfish groups of people who fail to wear face masks, fail to maintain minimum social distances and fail to conform to strict workplace, public-space and travel-space health protocols.
Restaurants, bars, clubs and casinos all must shut their doors by 10 pm each day during the long weekend, according to AMVA.
“In a meeting with the Colombia’s Vice Minister of Health Alexander Moscoso; the Governor of Antioquia Aníbal Gaviria Correa; the director of the Metropolitan Area Juan David Palacio Cardona, and the 10 mayors of the Aburrá Valley, following recommendations of the national government, it was decided to establish measures that increase control over the rise in Coronavirus cases in the department of Antioquia and which are concentrated to a greater extent in the municipalities of the [Medellin] metropolitan area,” according to AMVA.
“According to Health Vice-Minister Alexander Moscoso, the national government looks with concern at the increase in cases in Antioquia, and in particular in the Aburrá Valley, where ICUs [intensive care units] are at a high percentage of occupation, and if no measures are taken, the situation will tend to worsen in the region.”
The curfews and liquor restrictions “also avoid road accidents and fights that can further congest hospital units,” according to AMVA.
“The concern is that there is nowhere to attend [extra injured and sickened] people. And the contagion curve predicts that hospital occupancy will grow,” Moscoso warned.
According to the latest statistics from the departmental government, Antioquia recorded another 1,989 new cases of Covid-19 on October 26, with a cumulative total of 157,970 infections since tracking began last March.
Of the latest new cases, 994 are in Medellin, including 24 deaths, with the result that Medellin accounted for most of the 35 Covid-19 deaths yesterday department-wide.
Since tracking began in March, the cumulative number of deaths from Covid-19 in Antioquia now total 3,048.
Antioquia now has an ICU bed occupancy percentage of 81.22%, putting it above the “red-alert” trigger level of 80%.
“To date, there are 5,066 active cases in the Department – 2,840 in Medellin — and the number of people recovered [since tracking began] is 149,559,” according to the Antioquia government. In all Antioquia, “there are 709 [Covid-19] hospitalized patients: 385 in ICUs and 324 in general hospitalization,” the government added.