Colombia neglecting most basic coronavirus prevention measures

Colombia’s government appears to be neglecting coronavirus detection and contagion infections as it is promoting a sales tax free day deemed useless to reactive the economy.

An anonymous source told Colombia Reports on Saturday she was suffering common COVIC-19 symptoms like a dry cough, chills and tiredness.

When she reported these symptoms to a special hotline, she was advised to call again in five days because she wasn’t suffering “serious symptoms.”

The source was not urged to avoid contact with others or asked about whether she was living with other people, which are key element of Colombia’s so-called “track and trace’ program to prevent out-of-control contagion.

The source’s roommate was at a university at the time this website inquired about her whereabouts.

According to the World Health Organization, the vast majority of people infected by the coronavirus show no symptom, which makes contagion a major threat for people who are vulnerable.


Colombia’s healthcare show: ‘If you get seriously ill, you die’


The so-called “track and trace”  strategy allows healthcare personnel to detect infections and prevent contagion by isolating people who have been in touch with a confirmed or suspected patient.

According to a health protocol activated in March, suspected and confirmed patients and those who have been in touch with them must isolate themselves to prevent infecting others.

According to an October update of this protocol, health authorities additionally ought to additionally identify recent contacts.

The operator of the coronavirus hotline advised the source to call again in five days.

They told me that I still don’t have serious symptoms and to wait five days to see how I’m doing and see if it’s a flu. If I call them again they would come to my house to do the test.

Anonymous source

Colombia Reports’ source said she would call the hotline again and claim her situation has worsened in order to be tested and allow authorities to effectively execute government policy.

One of the alleged call centers making 140,000 phone calls a day.

Tech website Rest of the Word reported in September that “Colombia’s tracking systems use the same geolocalized data that allow marketing companies to profile users and show them personalized ads” instead of “relying on a custom-made app, as many governments around the world have done.”

This system was updated in October because “it is very important to have the ability to track the population and to be able to have information about who have been close contacts of the people who have been infected, and to have it as soon as possible,” according to the Health Minister.

In order to do this, the minister created the Center of the Tracing National Contact Center, which has a capacity to make either 10,000 or 140,000 daily phone calls, depending on information provided by the ministry or the Minister.

An operator confirmed the existence of the call center on November 7 when she tweeted that “sometimes our platform doesn’t show data,” but “we always apologize.”

President Ivan Duque and Health Minister Fernando Ruiz have been appearing on their controversial social media COVID show for more than half a year for “educational purposes” called “propaganda” by the opposition.

Despite Duque’s “education,” the suspected patient and the housemate were unaware of the hotline as hardly any Colombian watches the president’s COVID show and the operator failed to inform them to stay at home.

Hours before Colombia Reports’ source was being brushed off by the health official, Duque and his Health Minister were downplaying the public health threat posed by the pandemic, promoting mainly a ‘Sales Tax Free Day” and “The Great Weekend” that seek to stimulate the economy.

We have already done a good education so that we can consume, so let’s consume.

President Ivan Duque

The first sales tax free day became known as “COVID Friday” after massive groups of people conglomerated at large retail stores to take advantage of the 19% discount, Saturday’s sales tax exemptions only applied to online shoppers.

According to the Health Ministry, more than 35,000 people died of COVID-19 since late February in the country of 50 million. Duque, however stressed that of the 1,233,44 people who were granted a test, 1,138,581 have recovered.

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