The business and exhibition center of Bogotá (Corferias) will be enabled to attend patients in the face of the declared emergency in Colombia due to the coronavirus pandemic, reported Colombian President Iván Duque.
“The national government thanks the Boards of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Corferias for having approved the use of the fairground to meet the needs of the health emergency,” the head of state wrote on Twitter.
Duque added that the Ministry of Health is coordinating with the parties the tasks to “launch the initiative.”
The Bogota Chamber of Commerce, a company to which Corferias belongs, had announced yesterday that for two weeks it had been working with the Government “on a plan to expand the country’s hospital capacity by making the facilities of the fairground available to the authorities” .
This initiative is similar to the one launched last weekend in Madrid where a hospital with 5,500 beds for mild patients and an intensive care unit (ICU) was set up at the IFEMA fairgrounds, with the support of the Army.
Corferias, located in an equidistant zone from downtown and Bogotá’s El Dorado airport, occupies an area of about 200,000 square meters, part of which are covered pavilions.
Colombian authorities confirmed 29 new cases of COVID-19 tonight, bringing the total number of infected people to 306, three deceased and six recovered.
Bogotá, with 114, is the city with the most infected with COVID-19, followed by the departments of Antioquia, with 52; Valle del Cauca (37), Bolívar (16), Risaralda (14), Cundinamarca (13) and Huila (11).
To prevent the spread of the pandemic, the Colombian authorities suspended international flights, closed the borders and paralyzed practically all activities in the country, with the exception of those considered essential.
In addition, the country will enter a mandatory 19-day quarantine next Wednesday that will end on April 13, by order of the president.
Anticipating that the number of people affected by the coronavirus will continue to increase, the Ministry of Defense also set up a field hospital with 147 beds to serve patients in the parking lot of the Central Military Hospital in Bogotá.
The National Police did the same, which installed 174 beds in tents for patients and 48 in containers for assistance personnel in the parking lot of its Central Hospital.