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  • Informal transportation service in Cartagena, Colombia, June 22, 2020.

    Informal transportation service in Cartagena, Colombia, June 22, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @ElUniversalCtg

Published 26 June 2020
Opinion

A recent statistical report holds that the first COVID-19 cases began to spread 20 days earlier than official reports claimed.

Colombia’s National Statistic Administrative Department (DANE) Thursday informed that the COVID-19 outbreak occurred earlier than reported by the Health Ministry.

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"The first death from a possible COVID-19 case was recorded on Feb. 15, while the first confirmed death by this disease was on Feb. 26,” DANE reported.

Colombia’s Health Ministry confirmed the first COVID-19 case in Bogota on March 6 and the first decease due to the virus on March 16. The deceased patient was a cab driver in Cartagena. DANE estimates COVID-19 spread started twenty days earlier.

According to DANE’s report on the pandemic's development at the 2020 first quarter, 30 deaths were reported from confirmed COVID-19 cases, 94 deaths from COVID-19 possible cases, and 2,135 deaths from pneumonia and influenza.  

For that period, the Health Ministry confirmed 16 fatalities due to the virus. Barranquilla health authorities affirmed information discordance is a human failure in data input.

"Upon review of the death certificate, it was noted that the death occurred on May 26, 2020, and not on Feb. 26, as published,” Brarranquilla's Health Secretary (BHS) informed.

The defunct patient was a 79-years-old man with high blood pressure clinical record who was admitted at Mediesp clinic on May 3, showing flu and cough symptoms.

"Data recorded by Mediesp personnel on the death certificate was correctly entered. But, due to human error, it was incorrectly loaded into the Single Registry of Affiliates," the BHS added.

As for Friday morning, Colombia Health authorities had reported 80,599 COVID-19 cases, 2,654 deaths, and 33,349 recoveries from the virus.

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