We look at Bogotá and why it is the epicenter of coronavirus in Colombia. Bogotá experienced 34 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 also had moved to Antioquia and Medellín.

However, Bogotá actually has more coronavirus cases than the three departments in Colombia along the Caribbean coast and more coronavirus cases than in Antioquia on September 12:

  • Bogotá – 238,334 cases
  • Three Caribbean departments (Atlántico, Bolivar and Magdelena) – 105,346 cases
  • Antioquia – 94,447 cases

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

The bottom line is Bogotá is 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.

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 are the coronavirus status in Bogotá on September 12 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 238,334
  • New cases from June 26 to September 12: 213,701
  • Active cases: 39,506
  • Coronavirus deaths: 6,132
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 3,419 in the hospital and 333 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, 9/12

Comparing Bogotá with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, 9/12

So, Bogotá has about 15 percent of the population of Colombia but Bogotá has 33.6 percent of all coronavirus cases in Colombia, 43.0 percent of active cases and 27.0 percent of coronavirus deaths in Colombia.

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

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Bogotá, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 9/12

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Bogotá, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 9/12

Bogotá was experiencing less than 1,000 coronavirus cases per day until late June when the number of daily cases in Bogotá started to increase to a peak in mid-August. Since hitting that peak the number of daily cases in Bogotá has dropped to around 2,000 cases per day recently.

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, 9/12

7-day running average of new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 9/12

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 September 12:

  1. Bogotá – 238,334 cases
  2. Medellín – 54,653 cases
  3. Cali – 41,396 cases
  4. Barranquilla – 37.026 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, 9/12

Comparing four cities in terms of total cases, active cases and deaths per million, 9/12

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

Barranquilla hit a peak of coronavirus cases on July 18, but since mid-July, the number of daily cases and active cases in Barranquilla have been dropping.

All four of the largest cities in Colombia have passed their peak of new cases. But each day over the past week, Bogotá experienced more coronavirus cases than in Medellín, Cali and Barranquilla combined.

The following sections show the status of coronavirus on September 12 in Medellín, Cali and Barranquilla and compares with the totals in Colombia:

Coronavirus Status in Medellín

The following are the coronavirus status in Medellín on September 12 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 54,653
  • New cases from June 26 to September 12: 53,144
  • Active cases: 5,778
  • Coronavirus deaths: 1,117
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 660 in the hospital and 59 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, 9/12

Comparing Medellín with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, 9/12

Coronavirus Status in Cali

The following are the coronavirus status in Cali on September 12 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 41,396
  • New cases from June 26 to September 12: 34,977
  • Active cases: 4,255
  • Coronavirus deaths: 1,446
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 792 in the hospital and 48 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, 9/12

Comparing Cali with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, 9/12

Coronavirus Status in Barranquilla

The following are the coronavirus status in Barranquilla on September 12 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 37,026
  • New cases from June 26 to September 12: 27,092
  • Active cases: 860
  • Coronavirus deaths: 1,642
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 19 in the hospital and 9 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, 9/12

Comparing Barranquilla with Colombia coronavirus stats, source Instituto Nacional de Salud, 9/12

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 on September 12 had 33.6 percent of total coronavirus cases in Colombia, 43.0 percent of active cases and 27.0 percent of coronavirus deaths, while Bogotá only has about 15 percent of the population of Colombia.

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.

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

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