The Colombian president, Iván Duque, said on Sunday the Government will respond “integrally” to the challenge posed by the arrival of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the country, of which a case has already been confirmed in Colombia.
“This is a situation for which we have prepared. We have the experience and we will devote all the efforts and all the necessary resources so that as a country we can respond fully to this challenge,” said the head of state in a televised address.
The ruler admitted that “it was inevitable that the virus, which is already present in more than 95 countries, including our neighbors in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru, will arrive in Colombia.”
The Ministry of Health confirmed last Friday the first case of coronavirus in Colombia, a 19-year-old patient who is admitted to a clinic in Bogotá where she was diagnosed with COVID-19 after arriving from Milan (Italy), one of the countries more punished for the disease.
The Duke himself underwent a diagnostic test for a coronavirus last week, which was negative after participating in Washington in a conference in which some of the attendees had contact with “another person who was diagnosed” with COVID-19.
The president said that since the virus was detected in China, the Colombian government has prepared to face the situation and that is why “all actions for the detection of imported cases at border points and health centers were strengthened.”
He also said that they have deployed “all the capabilities for the Colombian health system to care for people who get the disease.”
In that regard, the representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Colombia, Gina Tambini, indicated that the agency has been working with the authorities to “prepare and respond to the challenges of global public health.”
MEASURES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In the same address, the Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz, said that his portfolio and the National Institute of Health (INS) developed all the protocols for the protection of citizens and their adequate care.
“The preparation stage is over and we have an activated response plan, and now our challenge is to contain the disease,” said the official.
Meanwhile, the director of the INS, Martha Ospina, said that 80% of people who get the disease “may not realize they have it, because these symptoms may be very mild or even non-existent.”
However, “a small percentage, about 5%, can suffer a disease with complications”, especially those over 60 years, so he said that these people should take extreme care.