We look at eight cities in Colombia that are experiencing a big increase in coronavirus cases with 80.3 percent of new cases in Colombia from April 22 to May 24.

In the 33 days from April 22 to May 24, a total of 80.3 percent of the coronavirus cases in Colombia were in the eight cities of Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Leticia, San Andrés de Tumaco, Soledad and Villavicencio, with the eight cities in Colombia averaging 414 cases per day.

In comparison, the rest of the cities and towns in Colombia during these same 33 days averaged only 102 cases per day.

Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia and Villavicencio has been experiencing a major outbreak of coronavirus in a prison. Also, there is an outbreak of cases in the Amazon (Leticia).

In addition, four smaller cities than Medellín (Cartagena, Barranquilla, San Adrés de Tumaco and Soledad), experienced outbreaks in cases and passed the larger city of Medellín in number of cases.

In this article, we look at the eight cities in Colombia that are experiencing a major increase in coronavirus cases in more detail.

Problem Coronavirus Cities in Colombia

This following chart shows the increase in coronavirus cases in Colombia over a period of 33 days is primarily due to a substantial increase in cases in only the eight cities of Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Leticia, San Andrés de Tumaco, Soledad and Villavicencio (red line). The rest of Colombia not including these eight cities has a relatively flat curve of new cases (blue line).

6-day running average of new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

6-day running average of new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

This chart shows a running 6-day average of new coronavirus cases in Colombia along with the 6-day running average in the eight red cities and the rest of Colombia. Note the red line is the eight red cities and the blue line is all the rest of the cities in Colombia. And the black line is a running 6-day average of cases for all of Colombia.

The rest of Colombia (blue line) not including these eight cities has a relatively flat curve of new cases.

We next look in detail at the eight cities in Colombia that are experiencing a big increase in coronavirus cases:

View of Bogotá from Monserrate

View of Bogotá from Monserrate

Coronavirus Situation in Bogotá

The following is the coronavirus status in Bogotá on May 24 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 7,211
  • New cases from April 22 to May 24: 5,479
  • Active cases: 5,115
  • Coronavirus deaths: 206
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 512 in hospital including 42 in the ICU

Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia with a metro population of over 10 million. On May 24, Bogotá had 7,211 cases or 34.1 percent of the total cases in Colombia.

The first coronavirus case in Bogotá was on March 6, 2020. And the peak of new daily coronavirus cases in Bogotá was reached on May 23 with 382 cases.

The following chart is the rolling 6-day average of new daily coronavirus cases in Bogotá.

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Bogotá, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Bogotá, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

This rolling 6-day average chart shows that on average, the number of new cases started to drop in Bogotá after reaching a peak but then started to increase again heading to a new average peak, which impacted the overall Colombia curve.

Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia and is still experiencing an increase in coronavirus cases. Bogotá Mayor Claudia López today implemented extra controls in orange zones in the city. These orange zones are considered the parts of Bogotá that are most at risk for coronavirus. And on May 20, the number of orange zones was increased in Bogotá. These are the orange zones in Bogotá on May 20:

  • Chapinero: UPZ Pardo Rubio: Barrios Chapinero Norte, Chapinero central
  • Puente Aranda: Barrios: Puente Aranda y Centro Industrial.
  • Rafael Uribe Uribe: UPZ Quiroga: Barrios Quiroga, Bravo Páez, Murillo Toro, Quiroga Central, Quiroga Sur y Barro Inglés.
  • Suba: UPZ Britalia: Barrios Cantagalio y Mazurén
  • Bosa: UPZ Bosa Occidental: Barrios San Antonio, La Independencia, Villas del Progreso, El Remanso I, Chicó Sur, Ciudadela El Recreo.
  • Antonio Nariño: Ciudad Jardín

In these orange zones, only one person only from each household is allowed out. In addition, there is limited pet walking, no exercise and essential travel only. Also, those who live in the zones but who have permission to work will be exempted from having to work for the next two weeks and their employers must accept that.

View of Cartagena, Colombia

View of Cartagena, Colombia

Coronavirus Situation in Cartagena

The following is the coronavirus status in Cartagena on May 24 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 2,117
  • New cases from April 22 to May 24: 1,931
  • Active cases: 1,750
  • Coronavirus deaths: 98
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 204 in hospital including 31 in the ICU

Cartagena is the fifth largest city in Colombia with a metro population of about 1 million. Cartagena has the second highest count of coronavirus cases out of the cities in Colombia. On May 24, Cartagena had 2,117 coronavirus cases, which was 10.0 percent of the total cases in Colombia.

The first coronavirus case in Cartagena was on March 11, 2020. And the peak of new daily coronavirus cases in Cartagena was reached on May 24 with 232 cases.

The following chart is a rolling 6-day average of new coronavirus cases in Cartagena.

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Cartagena, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Cartagena, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

This rolling 6-day average chart shows that on average, the number of new cases in Cartagena stayed below 20 per day for over a month and then passed 20 in early May and started heading to a peak, which impacted the overall Colombia curve.

In Cartagena, two coronavirus problem areas are reportedly the El Pozón neighborhood and the Mercado de Bazurto. El Pozón is a neighborhood with a count of infections now over 50 in an area where the community is not respecting the quarantine.

Another problem area in Cartagena is the Mercado de Bazurto, which is a large market full of merchants and buyers most of the time and where sanitary measures are minimal.

View of Cali from the Three Crosses hill in Cali , photo by C Arrango

View of Cali from the Three Crosses hill in Cali , photo by C Arrango

Coronavirus Situation in Cali

The following is the coronavirus status in Cali on May 24 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 1,911
  • New cases from April 22 to May 24: 1,431
  • Active cases: 1,249
  • Coronavirus deaths: 90
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 220 in hospital including 44 in the ICU

Cali is the third largest city in Colombia with a metro population of about 3.4 million. On May 24, Cali had 1,911 cases or 9.0 percent of the total cases in Colombia.

The first coronavirus case in Cali was on March 15, 2020. And the peak of new daily coronavirus cases in Cali was reached on May 22 with 105 cases.

The following chart is a rolling 6-day average of new coronavirus cases in Cali.

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Cali, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Cali, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

This rolling 6-day average chart shows that on average, the number of new cases started to drop in Cali after reaching a peak and then started heading up again, which impacted the overall Colombia curve.

View of Barranquilla, photo by Jdvillalobos

View of Barranquilla, photo by Jdvillalobos

Coronavirus Situation in Barranquilla

The following is the coronavirus status in Barranquilla on May 24 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 1,450
  • New cases from April 22 to May 24: 1,368
  • Active cases: 1,264
  • Coronavirus deaths: 43
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 105 in hospital including 22 in the ICU

Barranquilla the fourth largest city in Colombia with a metro population of about 2.4 million. On May 24, Barranquilla had 1,333 coronavirus cases, which was 6.8 percent of the total cases in Colombia.

The first coronavirus case in Barranquilla was on March 16, 2020. And the peak of new coronavirus cases in Barranquilla was reached on May 23 with 147 cases.

The following chart is a rolling 6-day average of new coronavirus cases in Barranquilla.

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Barranquilla, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Barranquilla, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

This rolling 6-day average chart shows that on average, the number of new cases per day was very low until it started increasing in late April and started to head to a peak, which impacted the overall Colombia curve.

In Barranquilla, a cluster of cases was recently found with 80 employees of Laboratorios Procaps (a medicine manufacturer) testing positive for coronavirus.

Also, in response to the increase in cases in Barranquilla, a pico y cedula scheme was put in place from May 15 to May 25, which limits days people can leave the home to shop to only once a week based on the last digit of their ID.

Coronavirus Situation in Leticia

The following is the coronavirus status in Leticia on May 24 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 1,410
  • New cases from April 22 to May 24: 1,404
  • Active cases: 1,292
  • Coronavirus deaths: 50
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 44 in hospital including none in the ICU

Leticia is a small city in the Amazonas department in Colombia with a city population of only about 50,000. Leticia is on the left bank of the Amazon river and is located at the border of Colombia where Colombia, Brazil and Peru come together.

On May 24, Leticia had 1,348 cases, which was 6.7 percent of the total cases in Colombia.

The first coronavirus case in Leticia wasn’t until April 17, 2020. And the peak of new daily coronavirus cases in Leticia was reached in less than a month after the first case, on May 11 with 191 cases.

The following chart is a rolling 6-day average of new coronavirus cases in Leticia.

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Leticia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Leticia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

This rolling 6-day average chart shows that on average, the number of new cases per day in Leticia was very low until it started increasing in late April and started to head to a peak, which impacted the overall Colombia curve.

Leticia has a cluster of cases in a prison, with at least 85 coronavirus cases in a prison with 181 inmates. Also, Leticia is on the border with Brazil and Peru with border crossings have reportedly been easy to do. The Colombian military recently sent 1,000 men to the border town to prevent travel to and from Brazil and Peru.

In addition, due to the increase in coronavirus cases, Leticia recently put in place a curfew from 8 pm to 6 am every day of the week until May 30.

Villavicencio, photo by Alejandro Vega

Villavicencio, photo by Alejandro Vega

Coronavirus Situation in Villavicencio

The following is the coronavirus status in Villavicencio on May 23 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 932
  • New cases from April 22 to May 23: 878
  • Active cases: 846
  • Coronavirus deaths: 7
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 2 in hospital including 1 in the ICU

Villavicencio is the capital of the Meta department in Colombia and has a metro population of about 535,000 people. On May 23, Villavicencio had 932 coronavirus cases, which was 4.4 percent of the total cases in Colombia.

The first coronavirus case in Villavicencio was on March 13, 2020. And the peak of new coronavirus cases in Villavicencio was reached on May 5 with 154 cases.

The following chart is a rolling 6-day average of new coronavirus cases in Villavicencio.

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Villavicencio, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Villavicencio, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

This rolling 6-day average chart shows that on average, the number of new cases per day was very low until it started increasing in late April and started to head to a peak, which impacted the overall Colombia curve. But cases started dropping over the past week in Villavicencio.

Villavicencio has experienced a major outbreak of coronavirus cases in a prison with reportedly over 830 cases in the city located the prison. The prison is overcrowded with 1,750 inmates in a prison designed for 899 people.

But coronavirus cases started dropping in Villavicencio. So, the outbreak in the prison may be under control.

Coronavirus Situation in Soledad

The following is the coronavirus status in Soledad on May 24 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 812
  • New cases from April 22 to May 24: 791
  • Active cases: 768
  • Coronavirus deaths: 14
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 21 in hospital including 4 in the ICU

Soledad is a coastal municipality in the Atlántico department of Colombia with a population of about 680,000. Soledad is part of the Barranquilla metro area but coronavirus cases are reported separately for Soledad from Barranquilla.

On May 24, Soledad had 812 coronavirus cases, which was 3.8 percent of the total cases in Colombia.

The first case in Soledad was on March 25, 2020. And the peak of new daily coronavirus cases in Soledad was reached on May 22 with 85 cases.

The following chart is a rolling 6-day average of new coronavirus cases in Soledad.

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Soledad, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in Soledad, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

This rolling 6-day average chart shows that on average, the number of new cases per day was very low until it started increasing in late April and started to head to a peak, which impacted the overall Colombia curve.

Coronavirus Situation in San Andrés de Tumaco

The following is the coronavirus status in San Andrés de Tumaco on May 24 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):

  • Total cases: 464
  • New cases from April 22 to May 24: 456
  • Active cases: 431
  • Coronavirus deaths: 18
  • Coronavirus hospitalization: 43 in hospital including none in the ICU

San Andrés de Tumaco is a port city in the Nariño department of Colombia with a metro population of over 200,000. San Andrés de Tumaco is located on the southwest corner of Colombia along the Pacific coast, near the border of Ecuador.

On May 24, San Andrés de Tumaco had 464 coronavirus cases, which was 2.2 percent of the total cases in Colombia.

The first case in San Andrés de Tumaco was on April 24, 2020. And less than a month later the peak of new daily coronavirus cases in San Andrés de Tumaco was reached on May 16 with 61 cases.

The following chart is a rolling 6-day average of new coronavirus cases in San Andrés de Tumaco.

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in San Andrés de Tumaco, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

6-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases in San Andrés de Tumaco, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

This rolling 6-day average chart shows that on average, the number of new cases in San Andrés de Tumaco per day was very low until it started increasing in late April and started to head to a peak, which impacted the overall Colombia curve.

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:

6-day running average of new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

6-day running average of new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, 5/24

The Bottom Line: 8 Cities with a Major Increase in Coronavirus Cases in Colombia

The bottom line, if it wasn’t for a major increase of coronavirus cases in eight cities in Colombia over the 33 days until May 24 in Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Leticia, San Andrés de Tumaco, Soledad and Villavicencio, Colombia would have a relatively flat curve of daily new coronavirus cases, shown in the blue line in the above chart.

In comparison to the case increases in these eight cities, Medellín and the department of Antioquia have been experiencing a decrease in cases over the past few weeks.

We track the number of new coronavirus cases in Colombia reported daily and will provide updates on the eight problem cities in Colombia daily.

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 May 19, 2020 with coronavirus statistics for May 18 and added San Andrés de Tumaco to the list of cities.

Editors note: updated on May 20, 2020 with coronavirus statistics for May 19.

Editors note: updated on May 21, 2020 with coronavirus statistics for May 20 and added list of orange zones in Bogotá.

Editors note: updated on May 22, 2020 with coronavirus statistics for May 22.

Editors note: updated on May 24, 2020 with coronavirus statistics for May 23.

Editors note: updated on May 25, 2020 with coronavirus statistics for May 24.

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.