The Colombian Ministry of Health on Friday, March 6, confirmed the first case of coronavirus Covid-19 in the country. The patient is a 19-year-old girl who claims to have been in Italy, making it an imported case.
The patient, a student, had returned from Milan to Bogota on Feb. 26 and was seen at Santa Fe hospital on March 2, the city’s mayor, Claudia Lopez, said on Twitter.
Italy has had the highest level of coronavirus infections outside of Asia, where the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has risen by 49 to 197, the country’s Civil Protection Agency said on Friday, the largest daily increase in fatalities since the contagion was uncovered there two weeks ago.
The woman remains isolated in Bogotá and under constant evaluation.
— MinSaludCol (@MinSaludCol) March 6, 2020
The National Institute of Health announced the positive result, which puts the Health Promoting Entities (EPS), Health Services Provider Institute (IPS), and private health systems on alert.
80% of people who could get the coronavirus will not develop any symptoms: Minsalud.
Earlier in the week, Colombia’s Minister of Health, Fernando Ruíz Gómez, affirmed that the country is prepared for the eventual arrival of the Covid-19.
“The country can be safe in the knowledge that we are working in a controlled and efficient way to confront this situation, which we have been anticipating for several weeks,” Ruiz told journalists. He said all healthcare facilities have instructions on handling the virus.
“We are facing the situation with all institutional capacities,” Colombia President Ivan Duque told the press. “For eight weeks Colombia has been taking action and we are carrying out a prevention and preparation program, detection and inter-institutional work for the time of a case,” added the president.
In Latin America, the virus has been, in addition to Colombia, confirmed in Mexico (6), Costa Rica (1), Brazil (8), Ecuador (13), Peru (1), Argentina (8) and Chile (1). All countries have 0 reported deaths.
The virus broke out in Wuhan, China, late last year and has since infected more than 101,00 people worldwide and 3,511 deaths reported. Outside of China, the hotspots include South Korea with over 7.000 cases and 42 reported deaths, and Italy with more than 4,200 cases and 197 deaths.