Are Medellin and Antioquia winning the coronavirus battle? Over a period of 35 days an average of only 17 coronavirus cases per day were reported in Antioquia.
Medellín and Antioquia appear to be doing a good job of containing the growth of coronavirus in the second largest city in Colombia and in the department of Antioquia in Colombia where Medellín is located.
Medellín on May 26 had fewer coronavirus cases than several other cities in Colombia and is adding cases at a slower pace over the past 35 days (April 22 to May 26):
- Bogotá – 7,743 cases – 6,011 new cases from April 22 to May 26 (35 days)
- Cartagena – 2,220 cases – 2,034 new cases in past 35 days
- Cali – 2,089 cases – 1,541 new cases in past 35 days
- Barranquilla – 1,576 cases – 1,495 new cases in past 35 days
- Leticia – 1,494 cases – 1,488 new cases in past 35 days
- Villavicencio – 935 cases – 881 new cases in past 35 days
- Soledad – 892 cases – 871 new cases in past 35 days
- San Andrés de Tumaco – 514 cases – 506 new cases in past 35 days
- Medellín – 470 cases – 506 new cases in past 35 days
Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia with the most cases. Villavicencio has been experiencing a major outbreak of coronavirus in a prison and there has been an outbreak of cases in the Amazon (Leticia).
In addition, four smaller cities than Medellín (Cartagena, Barranquilla San Andrés de Tumaco and Soledad), experienced outbreaks in cases and passed the larger city of Medellín in number of cases.
Also, Antioquia has fewer coronavirus cases on May 26 than in the departments of Bogotá DC, Atlántico, Valle de Cauca, Boliva, Meta and Amazonas.
- Bogotá DC – 7,743 cases
- Atlántico – 3,019 cases
- Valle del Cauca – 2,673 cases
- Bolivar – 2,378 cases
- Amazonas – 1,534 cases
- Meta – 972 cases
- Antioquia – 933 cases
Coronavirus Cases in Antioquia Current Status
Colombia Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) reported the number of coronavirus cases in Antioquia on May 26 – a total of 933 cases with 6 deaths.
The first coronavirus case in Antioquia was on March 9, 2020 and by May 26, the number of cases had grown to 933.
The following chart shows the number of new coronavirus cases in Antioquia daily over a period of more than one month:
The peak of new coronavirus cases in Antioquia was reached on May 25 with 141 cases. However, this daily chart has ups and downs from day to day. So, to see a trend over the past month it is better to look at a rolling 7-day average of new coronavirus cases:
This rolling 7-day average chart shows that on average, the number of new cases started to drop in Antioquia after reaching a peak and dropped to where it averaging about four new cases per day before increasing to a new peak due to outbreaks in a few towns.
The following table shows the status of coronavirus cases in Antioquia on May 26 according to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS):
On May 26, a total of 36 municipalities in Antioquia had coronavirus cases reported according to INS but only 18 of these municipalities still had an active case (isolated at home, in the hospital or in an ICU room).
A total of 612 of cases (66 percent) in Antioquia on May 26 were located in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley. Also, in Antioquia on May 26, a total of 524 cases were active according to INS. And only 12 cases in Antioquia were in the hospital or ICU with all of those in the Aburrá Valley.
According to DANE, 58.4 percent of Antioquia residents are concentrated in the Aburrá Valley, which contains only about 2 percent of the department geographically. In the Aburá Valley, and average of 3,341 people live per square kilometer.
The rest of Antioquia is more sparsely populated and averages only 44 people per square kilometer, which helps to explain why cases in Antioquia are mostly concentrated in the Aburrá Valley.
Increase in Cases in Antioquia Over the Past Week
Antioquia has experienced an increase in coronavirus cases in the past week from May 19 to 26. More than half of the cases in this week can be attributed to the outbreaks at the EPM Hidroituango dam project and military bases in three municipalities in Antioquia.
On May 22, EPM reported that according to analysis by Universidad de Antioquia, there were 28 infected workers on May 22 from CCCI Consortium, a contractor on the Hidroituango dam project.
And by May 25, a total of 143 cases from the Hidroituango dam project were confirmed. Most of these EPM cases are located in the Ituango municipality near the dam.
In addition, a second major outbreak in Antioquia is concentrated in military bases in the municipalities of Turbo, Apartadó and Carepa in Antioquia. The majority are members of the Colombian Navy and the Army who were on a ship that traveled the Atrato river in humanitarian work and delivered aid to communities.
The military outbreak of cases includes 48 located in Carepa, 17 in Turbo and 14 in Apartadó in Antioquia.
Without the two outbreaks at the dam and military outbreaks in three municipalities, Antioquia averaged 20 cases per day in the week from May 19 to 26, which was higher than the previous week. In addition to the two outbreaks, the increase was likely due to more people being out with some sectors of the economy starting to return to work.
Furthermore, in Medellín in two days during this week, there were reportedly 30 cases in comuna 2 (Santa Cruz) and comuna 13 (San Javier). These 30 cases correspond to only three family groups that were likely visiting each other over Mother’s Day. And 16 of these cases in Medellín were in a single family.
Are Medellín and Antioquia Winning the Coronavirus Battle?
The national quarantine in Colombia appears to be more effective in Medellín and Antioquia than in many other cities and regions in Colombia. Over the 35 days from April 22 to May 26, an average of only 7.8 coronavirus cases per day were reported in Medellín and only 17 cases per day in Antioquia.
Medellín and Antioquia have now been under quarantine for over 60 days.
Medellín experienced much fewer cases per day on average than in several other cities in Colombia over the period from April 22 to May 26:
- Bogotá – 171.7 cases per day on average
- Cartagena – 58.1 cases per day
- Cali – 44.0 cases per day
- Barranquilla – 42.7 cases per day
- Leticia – 42.5 cases per day
- Villavicencio – 25.1 cases per day
- Soledad – 24.9 cases per day
- San Andrés de Tumaco – 14.5 cases per day
- Medellín – 7.8 cases per day
In the 35 days from April 22 to May 26, a total of 79 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 423 cases per day. The rest of Colombia during these same 35 days averaged only 115 cases per day.
We have a separate article that looks in detail at the eight cities in Colombia experiencing a major increase in coronavirus cases.
One differentiator is Pico y Cedula that restricts shopping in the populous Aburrá Valley based on the last digit of your ID. Bogotá doesn’t use Pico y Cedula and instead uses a different scheme that is based on gender but the gender -based shopping scheme in Bogotá ended on May 11.
A few other large cities in Colombia including Cali, Cartagena and Barranquilla have Pico y Cedula but reportedly started their schemes later than in the Aburrá Valley, which started using Pico y Cedula in early April.
Over 100 Municipalities in Antioquia Permitted to Lift the Quarantine
Each of the mayors of these municipalities must decide whether to accept the proposal and issue an administrative act authorizing the reopening of establishments and companies, except for the following:
- Events of a public or private nature that involve crowding of people.
- Leisure and amusement, dance, leisure and entertainment and gaming and betting establishments and commercial premises such as casinos, bingos and video game terminals.
- Gastronomic establishments and establishments will be closed and will only be able to offer their products through electronic commerce, home delivery or take-out delivery.
- Gyms, swimming pools, sports fields, sports centers, mechanical amusement parks and playgrounds.
- Sports practice and group exercise in public parks and recreation areas, contact sports or practiced together.
Luis Fernando Suárez, Secretary of Government of Antioquia, said that this is the result of a request made by Antioquia Governor Aníbal Gaviria to the Ministry of the Interior.
The draft delivered to the mayors of the municipalities proposes to maintain the protection and prevention measures and implement pico y cedula to control purchases and bank transactions, permitting only one person per family to leave for those tasks.
Also, restaurants can open but only to provide home delivery or to sell products for take away. Restaurants are not allowed to have tables and consumption on site.
Other sectors such as hairdressing salons and car washes should also have special hours. The proposal is to allow them to operate from Monday to Saturday starting at 6:00 am in shifts to serve one client at a time and avoid crowds.
In addition, it was proposed that each mayor in Antioquia enact a curfew between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am while the emergency lasts, and that a prohibition of liquor consumption in commercial establishments is maintained.
Furthermore, 22 health checkpoints were implemented on the main routes of entry to the subregions in the Antioquia department, with the aim of avoiding contagion from other areas of the country or from the Aburrá Valley.
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:
- Humanitarian Flights from Colombia to the U.S. and Other Countries
- 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 August 1
- Coronavirus in Colombia: Myth vs Reality – Current Status
- Coronavirus Hospitalization in Colombia: Myth vs Reality
- Are Medellín and Antioquia Winning the Coronavirus Battle?
- 20 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
- Medellín Quarantine Starts on March 20 for Four Days
The Bottom Line: Is Medellín and Antioquia Winning the Coronavirus Battle?
Medellín and Antioquia may be winning the coronavirus battle. The number of cases in Antioquia have averaged only 17 cases per day over the 35 day period from April 22 to May 26. Also, there are over 100 municipalities in Antioquia without a single coronavirus case.
With the quarantine and other measures, Medellín and Antioquia have contained the virus and appear to be keeping COVID-19 at bay.
The bottom line is the measures that Colombia and Antioquia have put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in new coronavirus cases starting to drop in Antioquia. In addition, the spread of coronavirus throughout Antioquia was prevented with over 100 municipalities without a case.
In over 100 COVID-19 free municipalities in Antioquia, many closed places will be permitted to open, with some exceptions such as billiards, casinos and discotheques, churches, parks, gyms and sporting events.
Watch carefully the number of new cases reported in Colombia daily. Each day we update our popular article about coronavirus in Colombia with the current coronavirus statistics for Colombia, Antioquia and Medellín. Will new cases remain low or drop lower in Medellín and Antioquia or will they increase as they did in the past week?
Also, watch the COVID-19 testing numbers in Colombia. We update our popular article about COVID-19 testing in Colombia daily. If COVID-19 testing numbers continue to increase, this is a very good thing, as this will help identify more of those who are infected in Colombia.
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Editors note: updated on May 10, 2020 with coronavirus case counts and data from May 9.
Editors note: updated on May 12, 2020 with coronavirus case counts and data from May 12.
Editors note: updated on May 25, 2020 with coronavirus case counts and data from May 24.
Editors note: updated on May 27, 2020 with coronavirus case counts and data from May 26.