We look at Bogotá and why it is the epicenter of coronavirus in Colombia. Bogotá experienced about 40 percent of coronavirus cases in Colombia in the past 80 days.

Several Medellin Guru readers have asked about coronavirus in Bogotá and if the city is the epicenter of coronavirus in Colombia.

In addition, we have seen some inaccurate news articles in the past few months claiming that the epicenter of coronavirus in Colombia was in the Caribbean coast and that the epicenter had moved to Antioquia and Medellín in August and again moved to Antioquia and Medellín in October.

However, Bogotá actually has more coronavirus cases than Antioquia or more coronavirus cases than the three departments in Colombia along the Caribbean coast on December 8:

  • Bogotá – 393,583 cases
  • Antioquia – 223,435 cases
  • Three Caribbean departments (Atlántico, Bolivar and Magdelena) – 143,357 cases

So, how can Antioquia or the Caribbean or Antioquia or another part of Colombia be considered the epicenter of coronavirus in Colombia?

The bottom line is Bogotá is and remains the epicenter of coronavirus in Colombia. Bogotá has more total coronavirus cases than any other city in Colombia. Also, the city has experienced more cases than any other city in the past 80 days and Bogotá has more active coronavirus cases than in any other city in Colombia.

Why is Bogotá the epicenter? Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia and is densely populated. Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia and only experienced more coronavirus cases than Bogotá only four days in the past four months.

Also, Bogotá has El Dorado Airport, which is the largest international airport in Colombia. When the pandemic started in Colombia, reportedly up to 40 percent of initial coronavirus cases in Colombia were traced back to this airport.

View of Bogotá from Monserrate

View of Bogotá from Monserrate

Coronavirus Status in Bogotá

Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia with a population of about 7.4 million. The first coronavirus case in Bogotá was on March 6, 2020. And the peak of new daily coronavirus cases in Bogotá was reached on August 6 with 6,068 cases.

The following is the coronavirus status in Bogotá on December 8 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 393,583
  • New cases in 80 days from September 19 to December 8: 256,624
  • Active cases: 22,143
  • Coronavirus deaths: 8,770
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 1,619 in the hospital and 651 in the ICU (confirmed cases)

The following table compares these Bogotá statistics with the overall Colombia statistics to show what percent of the total in Colombia for each statistic are in Bogotá.

Comparing Bogotá with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 8

Comparing Bogotá with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 8

So, Bogotá has about 15 percent of the population of Colombia but Bogotá has 28.4 percent of all coronavirus cases in Colombia, 34.2 percent of active cases and 23.6 percent of coronavirus deaths in Colombia.

The following chart shows a running 7-day average of daily coronavirus cases in Bogotá, so you can see the trend of new cases for several months.

7-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Bogotá, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 8

7-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Bogotá, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 8

The rolling 7-day average of daily cases in Bogotá peaked in mid-August, which was when coronavirus cases peaked in Colombia.

Since hitting a peak, the number of daily cases in Bogotá dropped to less than 2,000 cases per day but increased to averaging over 2,000 cases per day in the past few weeks.

Bogotá is the city in Colombia that has contributed the most to the daily increase in coronavirus cases in Colombia. And as cases started to drop in Bogotá the number of cases also dropped in Colombia overall.

The following chart shows a running 6-day average of daily coronavirus cases in Colombia, so you can compare with the chart for Bogotá above and see the trend of new cases for more than the past month.

7-day running average of new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 8

7-day running average of new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 8

How Does Bogotá Compare to Other Cities in Colombia?

The four largest cities in Colombia are the four cities in Colombia with the most coronavirus cases on December 8:

  1. Bogotá – 393,583 cases
  2. Medellín – 127,090 cases
  3. Cali – 83,078 cases
  4. Barranquilla – 47,057 cases

The following table compares these four cities in terms of total cases per million, active cases per million and coronavirus deaths per million.

Comparing four cities in terms of total cases, active cases and deaths per million, Dec. 8

Comparing four cities in terms of total cases, active cases and deaths per million, Dec. 8

Bogotá has more total cases, active cases and coronavirus deaths per million out of all four cities.

All four of the largest cities in Colombia have passed peaks of new cases.

The following sections show the status of coronavirus on December 7 in Medellín, Cali and Barranquilla and compares with the totals in Colombia:

View of Medellín from Pueblito Paisa, photo by Jenny Bojinova

View of Medellín from Pueblito Paisa, photo by Jenny Bojinova

Coronavirus Status in Medellín

The following are the coronavirus status in Medellín on December 8 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 127,090
  • New cases in 80 days from September 19 to December 8: 67,370
  • Active cases: 5,674
  • Coronavirus deaths: 2,334
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 1,342 in the hospital and 163 in the ICU (confirmed cases)

The following table compares these Medellín statistics with the overall Colombia statistics to show what percent of the total in Colombia for each statistic are in Medellín.

Comparing Medellín with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 8

Comparing Medellín with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 8

Coronavirus Status in Cali

The following are the coronavirus status in Cali on December 8 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 83,078
  • New cases in 80 days from September 19 to December 8: 39,254
  • Active cases: 4,590
  • Coronavirus deaths: 2,395
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 1474 in the hospital and 256 in the ICU (confirmed cases)

The following table compares these Cali statistics with the overall Colombia statistics to show what percent of the total in Colombia for each statistic are in Cali.

Comparing Cali with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 8

Comparing Cali with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 8

Coronavirus Status in Barranquilla

The following are the coronavirus status in Barranquilla on December 8 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 47.057
  • New cases in 80 days from September 19 to December 8: 9.984
  • Active cases: 1.153
  • Coronavirus deaths: 1.762
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 50 in the hospital and 12 in the ICU (confirmed cases)

The following table compares these Barranquilla statistics with the overall Colombia statistics to show what percent of the total in Colombia for each statistic are in Barranquilla.

Comparing Barranquilla with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec, 8

Comparing Barranquilla with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec, 8

Computer generated image of COVID-19, photo by Felipe Esquivel Reed

Computer generated image of COVID-19, photo by Felipe Esquivel Reed

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:

The Bottom Line: Epicenter of Coronavirus in Colombia – Bogotá is the Epicenter

The bottom line is that Bogotá is the epicenter of coronavirus in Colombia. The city of Bogotá on December 8 had 28.4 percent of total coronavirus cases in Colombia, 34.2 percent of active cases and 23.0 percent of coronavirus deaths, while Bogotá only has about 15 percent of the population of Colombia.

Be careful about articles in the English-language press in Colombia that claim other parts of Colombia are the epicenter of coronavirus in Colombia.

By every measure, Bogotá still remains the epicenter of coronavirus in Colombia, even though cases in Bogotá have dropped from a peak in mid-August.

Also, we expect that Bogotá will remain the epicenter of coronavirus in Colombia for the foreseeable future.

Each day we update our popular article about coronavirus in Colombia, where you can see the daily cases reported for Bogotá and other cities in Colombia.

Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.

Editors note: updated on September 13, 2020 with coronavirus data from September 12.

Editors note: updated on October 30, 2020 with coronavirus data from October 29.

Editors note: updated on November 9, 2020 with coronavirus data from November 8.

Liked it? Take a second to support Medellin Guru on Patreon! The future of Medellin Guru needs the help of readers to remain ad free.