Even though intensive care units are projected to be filled until the end of June and more than 90,000 people have died from COVID-19, Colombia cleared the reopening of most large events it had banned to limit the pandemic on Thursday.
Many limitations established in March last year to curb the spread of coronavirus have been gradually eased, with others being peeled back for select places on Thursday, while medical staff expect cases to remain high.
“What we are suggesting right now is a safe reopening with conditions that allow us to go progressively as vaccination develops and cities move through this third peak,” Health Minister Fernando Ruiz said in a statement, adding that a fourth peak is likely.
Cities with ICU occupancy rates above 85% may face certain restrictions, according to Ruiz, while other locations will be permitted to reintroduce events like concerts and sporting events, with audiences capped at 25%. The ICU occupancy rates in Colombia’s three largest cities, Bogota, Medellin, and Cali, are all above 96 percent.