Colombia to end Covid sanitary emergency

Colombia end Covid emergency
Bogotá Airport with barriers, in 2020. The country moves to end the Covid emergency after two years. Photo: Shutterstock

President Iván Duque of Colombia announced yesterday that the country’s Covid sanitary emergency would be lifted starting on June 30, more than two years since the start of the pandemic.

“This news should make us all rejoice and celebrate our collective triumph, thinking in terms of science and not politics,” Mr. Duque said. “We have faced the hardest moment in our history and we are coming out on the other side of it.”

According to the government in Colombia, 83 percent of the country’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 70 percent have received both — and boosters are available for most age groups. The Health Ministry is still making efforts to understand vaccine hesitancy among some quarters of the population. 

Nearly 140,000 Colombians have died of Covid since 2020, the fourth-largest official tally in Latin America after Brazil, Mexico, and Peru — the country has the region’s third-largest population.

The news follows a regional trend for lifting restrictions, with Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires ending its citywide mask mandate last week as well. Two months ago, the Brazilian government announced it would end the Covid emergency — but the pandemic outlook has worsened since.