for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

Colombia COVID-19 deaths climb past 50,000, cases close on 2 million

FILE PHOTO: A medical team member takes a swab sample from a woman to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bogota, Colombia December 29, 2020. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Deaths from COVID-19 in Colombia have surpassed 50,000, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday, as reported coronavirus infections approached 2 million.

The Andean country has reported over 1.97 million cases of coronavirus, as well as 50,187 deaths from COVID-19, the disease it causes.

Colombia is dealing with a second wave of coronavirus infections. The country set a daily record of more than 20,000 cases last Friday, and intensive care unit occupancy rates exceed 90% in its three biggest cities, the capital Bogota, Medellin, and Cali.

The government has reached agreements to secure vaccine doses for 29 million people. These include 10 million doses each of the vaccines produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, and AstraZeneca, as well as nine million doses of the vaccine produced by Janssen, the pharmaceutical arm of Johnson & Johnson .

The country has also secured 20 million vaccine doses via the World Health Organization-backed COVAX mechanism.

While Colombia expects delivery of its first vaccine doses - produced by Pfizer - in the first week of February, the government has not given dates for expected vaccine deliveries.

Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Alistair Bell

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up