Coronavirus in Colombia: We look at current Coronavirus statistics in Colombia including daily cases, recoveries, deaths, tests and vaccinations.
Daily Summary for October 23:
- +1,660 new cases
- +38 reported deaths
- +43,186 COVID-19 tests
- 4,989,681 cases
- 12,575 active cases 0.25 percent of total
The first coronavirus case in Colombia was on March 7, 2020 and by October 23, 2021 the number of cases had grown to 4,989,681 cases. The following chart shows the 7-day rolling average of daily cases in Colombia for the past few months.
As of October 23, the rolling 7-day average of new daily cases has dropped in 98 of the past 114 days in a row. More detail is in the article below.
EDITOR NOTE: this article is in the process of being updated for October 24 when data is available.
As of October 24, 2021, at 10 am according to Worldometers over 200 countries and territories in the world have reported that over 244,252,700 people have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, known as SARS-CoV2. And over 4,961,900 people have died from this virus worldwide and over 221,292,000 have recovered.
Coronavirus Cases in Colombia
Colombia Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) reported the number of coronavirus cases in Colombia on October 23 – a total of 4,989,681 cases (up +1,660 new daily cases from October 22) with 127,032 deaths.
Also on October 23, Colombia reported 1,503 new recoveries and a total of 4,833,552 recoveries, as of this date. Furthermore, on October 23, Colombia had 12,575 active coronavirus cases.
Only 0.25 percent of total coronavirus cases in Colombia were active on October 23 and 96.87 percent were recovered.
Many Medellin Guru readers have asked about the current status of coronavirus in Colombia. So, we look at coronavirus cases in Colombia.
Coronavirus Daily Cases By Department in Colombia
The following table shows the total number of new daily cases of coronavirus in Colombia in the departamentos (departments or states) in Colombia on October 23, according to INS.
If you want to see total coronavirus case counts by department in Colombia you can see this on the Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS) website. There is a departmento tab where you can find detailed coronavirus information by department in Colombia. But this website frequently has problems.
Daily Coronavirus Cases in the Aburrá Valle
We look daily coronavirus case counts on October 23 in the 10 municipalities in the Aburrá Valley metropolitan area where Medellín is located:
- Medellín +252
- Bello +24
- Itagüí +12
- Envigado +11
- Caldas +6
- Sabaneta +3
- Copacabana +1
- La Estrella +2
- Girardota +1
- Barbosa +0
On October 23 the 10 municipalities in the Aburrá Valley had a total of 602,274 confirmed coronavirus cases. And 3,016 cases were active in Antioquia on this date. Also, on October 24 the ICU occupancy in Antioquia was 79.14 percent of a total of 1,026 ICUs available.
Daily Coronavirus Cases in Other Cities in Colombia
We look at the daily coronavirus cases in four other cities in Colombia daily with the change from the prior day, this is data from October 23:
- Bogotá +179
- Barranquilla +319
- Cartagena +44
- Santa Marta +48
If you want to see coronavirus case counts in other cities and towns in Colombia you can see this on the Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS) website. There is a muncipio tab where you can find detailed coronavirus information by municipality in Colombia. But this website frequently has problems.
COVID-19 Testing in Colombia
On October 23, 2021, Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS) in Colombia reported that it had completed a total of 26,494,409 COVID-19 tests in Colombia.
This means that Colombia has completed 519,816 COVID-19 tests per million people in Colombia based on a population of 50.96 million.
We compare this COVID-19 testing in Colombia with several other countries in Latin America as well to the U.S., UK and South Korea in the following table.
For the week of October 11 to October 18, 2021, Colombia averaged 42,150 tests per day. In addition, the most tests Colombia has completed in one day was on June 23, 2021 with 127,955 tests. We have a separate article that looks at COVID-19 testing in Colombia in more detail.
Colombia COVID-19 Vaccination Status
EDITOR NOTE: this section is not yet updated for October 20, update to be completed when Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS) reports data.
On October 19, Colombia had completed administering 44,963,441 COVID-19 vaccine doses including 222,141 doses on October 19. The departments on October 19 with the most vaccinated are:
- Bogotá – 8,198,112 doses
- Antioquia – 6,468,278 doses
- Valle de Cauca – 3,672,630 doses
Active Cases in Colombia
On October 23, Colombia had 12,575 active coronavirus cases. The majority of active coronavirus cases in Colombia are isolated at home and treated at home. The number of active cases in Colombia has started to drop many days with more recoveries and deaths stating to happen than new cases on some days. The following chart shows the total active cases in Colombia by day:
Colombia Coronavirus Death Rate
On October 23, Colombia reported a total of 127,032 deaths from coronavirus, which was a daily increase of 35 reported deaths from the previous day on October 21.
On October 23, Colombia reported a total of 127,032 deaths and a total of 4,989,681 coronavirus cases.
The death rate in Colombia varies based on age and we have a separate article that looks at the coronavirus death rate in Colombia by age and compares to other countries.cases, the overall coronavirus death rate in Colombia among confirmed cases on October 23 was 2.55 percent.
Note that there is a lag between the dates of actual deaths from coronavirus and reporting of deaths.
So, the above chart of daily reported deaths does not show the true picture. For example, the following chart shows that on June 11, 2021, 493 of the 569 reported deaths on that date actually occurred on earlier dates. This chart shows that the daily coronavirus deaths by actual death dates in Colombia (not reported dates) have been declining since mid-January.
Coronavirus Deaths in Other Countries in Latin America and the World
On October 24, Colombia was ranked #12 in the World in terms of coronavirus deaths per million according to Worldometers. Three countries in Latin America had a higher coronavirus death rate per million population than Colombia. The following are country rankings for deaths per million in several Latin American countries from Worldometers on October 24.
- Peru #1
- Brazil #9
- Argentina #11
- Colombia #12
- USA #16
- Paraguay #19
- Mexico #22
- Chile #29
- Ecuador #33
- Uruguay #38
- Panama #42
Many foreign tourists that arrived in Colombia in early 2020 renewed tourist visas to enable staying in Colombia for up to 180 days instead of returning to their home country where coronavirus case counts are much higher and increasing at alarming rates. In addition, some of these foreign tourist are pursuing Colombian visas to enable staying in Colombia longer.
What is Coronavirus and How Does it Compare to the Flu?
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Myth 1 – If you have coronavirus, “you will know” Not really, COVID-19 causes a wide range of symptoms, many of which are common in other respiratory illnesses such as the common cold or flu. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, similar to other respiratory illnesses. And rarer symptoms include nausea, dizziness, vomiting and a runny nose.
In severe cases of COVID-19, the disease can progress into a serious pneumonia-like illness — but early on, infected people may show no symptoms at all. The virus causes mild respiratory infections in about 80 percent of those infected, though up to half will have pneumonia. Another 15 percent develop severe illness, and about 5 percent need critical care.
Myth 2 – Coronavirus is less deadly than the flu Reportedly the COVID-19 coronavirus has a transmissibility rate estimated from 2.0 to 2.5 people that an infected person typically makes sick. This compares to the flu (influenza) with a transmissibility rate from 1.3 to 1.8 people. And SARS has a transmissibility rate from 2 to 4 people.
Case-fatality ratio is the number of people killed by disease divided by the number of people confirmed to catch it. Seasonal flu, technically kills a relatively small proportion of its cases, with a case-fatality ratio of around 0.1 percent.
The reason the flu is a major public health problem is because it infects many people, 35.5 million in the U.S. from 2018 to 2019, which led to 490,000 hospitalizations and 34,200 deaths. SARS had a case-fatality rate of 10 percent, about 100 times higher than influenza, and the rate for the new coronavirus case-fatality rate is reportedly about 3.4 percent of reported cases.
Myth 3 – Children and young adults are more likely to die from coronavirus infections The China CDC reported on February 11 based on data from 72,314 cases of those diagnosed with COVID-19 and found that older adults in China have been hit the hardest by COVID-19:
- 14.8 percent death rate for those infected with ages 80 and older,
- 8 percent for ages 70 to 79,
- 3.6 percent for ages 60 to 69,
- 1.3 percent for 50 to 59,
- 0.4 percent for the age group 40 to 49,
- 0.2 percent for people ages 10 to 39,
- No deaths in children under 9 reported.
We have a separate article about the coronavirus death rate in Colombia with death rates being experienced in Colombia by age.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
According to the CDC in the U.S.: People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness like COVID-19 with everyday preventive actions.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Also, if you are sick to keep from spreading respiratory illness like coronavirus to others you should:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with tissues, then throw the tissues in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Wear a face-mask if you are sick and around other people.
Myth 4 – Face masks can completely protect you from the virus Standard face masks cannot completely protect you, as they are not designed to block out viral particles and they do not lay flush to the face. A more specialized mask, known as an N95 respirator, can protect against the virus. According to the CDC:
Face masks are loose-fitting and provide only barrier protection against droplets, including large respiratory particles. Most face masks do not effectively filter small particles from the air and do not prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales.
So, a standard face masks can’t totally protect you from the virus. But China and other countries in Asia have using face masks widely. George Gao, Director-General of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even said:
The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role—you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth. Many people have asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.
If everyone wore a mask, then those in public who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic would not so easily spread to others.
Healthcare in Colombia
Colombia has 24 of the top 58 clinics and hospitals in Latin America, according to a study in late 2019 by América Economia. So, 41 percent of the best hospitals in Latin America are found in Colombia.
Nine of these best hospitals in Latin America are located in Medellín and nine are in Bogotá. In 2017, Colombia had 20 of the top 49 clinics and hospitals in Latin America. And in 2018, Colombia had 23 of the top 58 hospitals.
So, the count in 2019 has increased to 24 of the top 58 clinics and hospitals in Latin America for 2019. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranks Colombia’s healthcare system as #22 out of 191 countries it ranked. And no other countries in Latin America were ranked higher than Colombia.
So, according to WHO, Colombia has the best healthcare system in Latin America. Also, Colombia’s healthcare system is ranked higher than many wealthier countries like the United States (#37), Germany (#25), Canada (#30) and Australia (#32).
In Colombia, it is possible to have access to world-class healthcare at a fraction of the cost compared to the healthcare costs in North America or Europe. Furthermore, the costs for healthcare in Colombia can be significantly lower than the costs found in the U.S. Due to having the best healthcare system in Latin America, Colombia is probably better positioned than many other countries in Latin America to handle coronavirus.
Health Insurance in Colombia
Health insurance is relatively inexpensive in Colombia and will cover you if you happen to catch COVID-19. One of the reasons that Colombia has such a highly rated healthcare system is due to a new constitution that Colombia drafted in 1991 that made access to healthcare a basic human right to all citizens of Colombia, as well as foreign residents of Colombia. There are three types of health insurance available in Colombia:
- EPS – Entidadas Promotoras de Salud– this is the public health insurance that is mandatory for everybody who is a resident of Colombia. The monthly premium is calculated as 12.5 percent of the monthly gross income that you declare to the EPS.
- Prepagada – this is private healthcare insurance in Colombia. The monthly premium for Prepagada varies depending on your age, the plan you choose and any pre-existing conditions.
- SISBEN – this is a free government subsidized healthcare system, which is only for very poor or homeless Colombians.
We partnered with Angela Berrio, who is a bilingual insurance agent who speaks English and Spanish. And she has many foreigner clients. Over 175 Medellin Guru readers have obtained insurance through our partnership including health insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance and travel insurance. This service is easy to use, just click on the button below to get started.
We highly recommend using a bilingual insurance agent to sign up for insurance in Colombia instead of trying to sign up yourself. Everything for signing up for insurance in Colombia is in Spanish and the forms can be complicated to fill out. And Angela will take care of signing you up for the Colombian insurance that is appropriate for your situation.
Number to Call in Medellín if You Think You Have Coronavirus
Medellín uses the 123 emergency phone number for coronavirus reports. People who in the last two weeks have been in countries where the virus circulates, and who have symptoms such as cough, fever, nasal congestion and muscle fatigue, or who have been in contact with patients who meet with the above criteria can call this emergency number.
Medellín asks residents to make responsible use of this single line of emergencies, and also recommends consulting EPS health insurance websites. Also, we have a separate article that looks at how to get a COVID-19 test in Medellín.
Medellin Guru’s Coronavirus Series
Medellin Guru has a series of articles about the coronavirus pandemic and the impacts in Colombia: Also, these articles are being kept up-to-date, as this is a fast-moving topic:
- Colombia Needs to Ramp up COVID-19 Vaccinations
- Is Colombia Starting to Win the Coronavirus Battle?
- Nightly Curfew and Dry Law in Antioquia from March 25 to June 9
- COVID-19 Vaccinations in Colombia Start on February 17
- PCR Test: How to Get a COVID-19 Test in Medellín
- PCR Test: How to Get a COVID-19 Test in Bogotá
- PCR Test: how to Get a COVID-19 Test in Cartagena
- Nightly Curfews in January in Medellin and Antioquia Start on January 6
- Nightly Curfew in Medellín For Christmas and New Year’s Holidays
- Colombia is Buying 10 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine from Pfizer
- Does Colombia Require a COVID-19 Test for International Travelers?
- 8 Reasons Why Colombia is Unlikely to Return to a Quarantine
- Coronavirus Cases Increase in Medellín: What Happens Next?
- New Normal in Medellín: Medellín is Returning to Normal
- Will the Quarantine Return to Colombia? What if Cases Increase?
- New Normal in Medellín: Medellín is Returning to Normal
- Colombia’s Quarantine Ends on September 1: New Phase Starts
- Tourism Impact of Coronavirus: Colombia Starts to Reactivate Tourism
- Economy Impacts in Colombia Due to Extended Quarantine
- Epicenter of Coronavirus in Colombia: Bogotá is the Epicenter
- Medellín Plans the Total Reopening of Economic Activities in the City
- When Will the Quarantine End in Colombia? On September 1?
- Humanitarian Flights from Colombia to the U.S. and Other Countries
- Beware of Fake News in Colombia About Coronavirus and Quarantines
- Reopening Gymnasiums, Churches and Movie Theaters in Colombia
- Reopening Amusement Parks, Zoos and Nature Reserves in Colombia
- Medellín Starts Free COVID-19 Tests on the Medellín Metro
- New COVID-19 Preventive Measures in Medellín to Contain the Pandemic
- Penalties for Violating the Quarantine in Medellín are Stiff
- COVID-19 Orange Alert in Bogotá: New Lockdowns in Bogotá
- Medellín Starts to Lift the Quarantine: Enters Smart Isolation Phase
- Colombia Started to Lift the Quarantine – What Does this Mean?
- Coronavirus: When Will the Quarantine Be Lifted in Colombia?
- Colombia Starts to Lift the Quarantine in COVID-19 Free Areas
- Colombia Quarantine: Nationwide Quarantine Extended to September 1
- Coronavirus in Colombia: Myth vs Reality – Current Status
- Coronavirus Hospitalization in Colombia: Myth vs Reality
- Are Medellín and Antioquia Winning the Coronavirus Battle?
- 23 Cities with a Major Increase in Coronavirus Cases in Colombia
- Colombia Coronavirus Death Rate: What are the Chances of Dying?
- Coronavirus: When Will Things Return to Normal in Colombia?
- COVID-19 Testing in Colombia: Realty About Coronavirus Testing
- Life as an Expat: During Medellín’s Coronavirus Quarantine
- Colombian Visa Process Changes: Due to Quarantine and Coronavirus
- Medellín Coronavirus Closures – What is Closed in Medellín?
- Pico y Cedula: A Restriction for Grocery Shopping in the Aburrá Valley During the Quarantine
- Pico y Cedula in Colombia: Which is Strictest Out of 5 Largest Cities?
- Medellín Quarantine Starts on March 20 for Four Days
The Bottom Line: Coronavirus in Colombia: Current Status
The bottom line is that Colombia had a total of 4,989,681 coronavirus cases as of October 23, 2021 but 96.87 percent of these cases have recovered.
Also, the number of active cases have gone from 160,000 August 2020 to drop to 12,575 active cases on October 23, 2021. Coronavirus is a fast-moving topic. So, Medellin Guru will be updating this popular article daily.
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Editors note: updated on October 22, 2021 at 6:20 pm with current coronavirus case counts for October 22 and updated at 8:50 pm to add Antioquia municipality data.
Editors note: updated on October 23, 2021 at 5:35 pm with current coronavirus case counts for October 23.