The national government had announced a few days ago that the health emergency in the country would be lifted by June 30. According to President Ivan Duque and Health Minister Fernando Ruiz, “the epidemiological reasons no longer exist.” That is, the behavior of the Kovid-19 virus in the national territory, mass vaccination, expansion of health system capabilities, among other factors, it is not appropriate to maintain this extraordinary situation any more.
From March 12, 2020, 840 days ago, a health emergency was declared to give the executive more flexible powers in the design of the national response against the coronavirus outbreak. In the more than two years after the pandemic, 294 administrative acts were issued and more than a hundred draft decrees submitted for review by the Constitutional Court. Regarding FOME, Emergency Mitigation Fund, Some $45 billion was handled, a third of which was allocated to health investments Such as the purchase of ventilators and the construction of intensive care units (ICUs).
ICUs doubled across the country—they increased from 5,346 to 13,100—while $4.5 billion was invested in the deployment of a national immunization plan. Economic reactivation with biosecurity was also part of the emergency and included assistance programs for companies with payrolls, among other measures. In fact, mass vaccination plan statistics show that over 70% of the Colombian population have completed plans, 36% have a first booster and 5% have a second booster.
It is not easy to evaluate health management in the face of a virus like COVID-19, which, in these 840 days, has infected more than 6.13 million and claimed the lives of nearly 140,000 Colombians. Nor can it be denied that the introduction of vaccination did not have the pace and rhythm of other Latin American countries. And on several occasions international indicators that measure resilience to the coronavirus do not positively reflect the level of the Colombian state’s response.
Even then, The persistence of the presidency of the republic and the health team, led by Minister Ruiz, managed to improve this response on the epidemiological and vaccination fronts, and even economic. The apocalyptic scenario presented by many political opponents during the pandemic—and who today won the House of Narino for the next four years—did not materialise.
The truth was that executive actions taken by the national government not only allowed the health and hospital systems to improve their abilities to respond to spikes, but also allowed enough vaccinations to be able to reopen and sustain the economy. level is also allowed. Dynamic reactivation path. It is also true that the virus has not gone away and a kind of ‘mini-peak’ is already being reported, which does not threaten the previous peaks but cannot be ignored.
A measure of the positive balance of the Duke government’s handling of the coronavirus is how it is losing priority amid the urgent concerns of Colombians and that it did not have much of a presence in the recently concluded presidential campaign. The foregoing does not mean that there are no pending challenges in the government’s strategy against the pandemic – both in terms of health and social and economic. But a few days before the end of the emergency, it is not superfluous to accept with justice that the Duke administration handled this unprecedented health crisis with positive results.