By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Colombia Ministry of Health recorded an additional 8769 confirmed COVID-19 cases Saturday, putting the country total case count over the one million mark, the eighth country to do so.

As of Oct 24, Colombia has seen 1,007,711 total cases, following only the US, India, Brazil, Russia, France, Argentina and Spain.

More than 900,000 people have recovered and their are currently 68,000 active cases in Colombia. With the addition of 198 fatalities Saturday, 30,000 deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported.

Bogota has reported 308,000 cases, leading the country, followed by Antioquia (153K) and Valle del Cauca (77K).

On Thursday, the country launched the National Contact Center for Telephone Tracking as part of the implementation of the PRASS program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Health and Social Protection, Fernando Ruiz Gómez, pointed out that the PRASS program has been operating in Colombia for a few months, through which tests, tracking, isolation and monitoring of people with COVID-19 and their contacts are carried out. “This new service that will reach all Colombians seeks, essentially, to be able to reach people who have COVID-19 and to be able to immediately make a call, establish contacts and the risks they may have, this also to proceed to isolate them and avoid that in the context of opening there are possibilities of contagion”.

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He described this as an essential strategy to reduce contagion, and detailed that the center has a capacity for 140 thousand calls a day with operation from 8 in the morning to 8 at night every day. “People will see the number 19000 on the phone screen and they will ask questions, make recommendations to take care of ourselves and address the risks of spread,” he said.

This “is important news for the country” and he invited Colombians to collaborate with the information in order to better monitor the virus and keep the numbers stable.

Lastly, with Halloween right around the corner, health officials explained the general recommendations for the next Halloween celebration in the country during his intervention in the Prevention and Action program.

“Today we issued with the Ministry of the Interior, the Presidential Council for Children and Adolescents and the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare, a joint circular of orientation to mayors and governors about the children’s party or Halloween,” Ruiz Gómez said.

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He pointed out the risks that Halloween brings, among which are: crowds, difficulty in physical distancing, exchange of objects that may have the virus on their surface (bags, sweets, costumes, masks, make-up) and intergenerational contact, which creates a great risk for older adults.

In the same way, he stressed the general recommendations for citizens:

  • Celebrate Halloween at home with the direct family nucleus residing in the house.
  • Avoid intergenerational contact.
  • Do not make rounds around the houses to ask for sweets.
  • Maintain physical distancing at all times.
  • Cover your mouth with a bent elbow or a tissue when coughing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home if you have a fever or trouble breathing.
  • Constantly wash your hands.
  • Wear the mask if you are away from the place of residence.

“The recreation that occurs on Halloween is essential for the mental health of children and therefore it is very important. But a different Halloween, like the one we have in this pandemic environment, is not necessarily a less happy Halloween. We have to adapt and take advantage of the measures we recommend to work in our families, “said Ruiz Gómez.

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