The commander of the Colombian Military Forces, Fernando Navarro, was appointed Minister of Defense in charge of a covid infection that keeps the head of the portfolio, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, in "critical care," the government announced this Monday.
Navarro will occupy the position "until Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo recovers and can return to his duties," the presidency explained in a statement.
Trujillo, 69, is in a "critical care" unit of the Central Military Hospital in Bogotá, "due to the current acute respiratory infection secondary to SARS COV-2 viral pneumonia."
According to the government, "strict monitoring of his clinical condition is maintained."
The minister revealed that he had been infected with the new virus on January 12 and was hospitalized that day in the city of Barranquilla (north). Two days later his office reported that he had been transferred to Bogotá to continue his treatment.
With almost two million infections, Colombia is the second Latin American country with the highest number of coronavirus cases behind Brazil. The pandemic has caused 48.631 deaths in the country, which in the first weeks of 2021 records an increase in cases and deaths from covid-19.
The overwhelming advance of the virus in Colombia
Almost 30 million Colombians spent the weekend confined or under curfews as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19, when hospitals in the main cities of this country of 50 million people are on the brink of collapse.
For the second consecutive weekend, restrictions on mobility were increased in a dozen departments, given the sustained increase in infections that place Colombia as the second country with the most cases in Latin America, which have already exceeded 1,8 million since the beginning of the pandemic.
"We are collapsed, we had never reached these indicators in the first peak of the pandemic," Gina Rojas, director of the 'National Pact for Health and Life', an association of some 140 social and academic organizations, told AFP. and trade unions.
After the holidays and December holidays, the spread of the virus increased, according to the authorities, reaching its highest peak last Friday, when more than 21.000 infections were registered in one day.