COVID-19 surge in municipality of Colombia

It could be thought that the COVID-19 was cruel to the inhabitants of the Santa Lucía district, located on the edge of the road that connects the municipality of Colombia and that of Guáimaro (Camagüey); or that bad luck haunted them, but it was not like that.

Colombia, Las Tunas.- Overconfidence and human folly made them easy prey for the terrible virus. Despite the constant warnings and the fact that, right now, nothing is more important than protecting the family from this threat, a celebration for Father's Day unleashed what would be one of the longest nightmares in that community.

The children of those lands had to experience fear, concern, and uncertainty to understand that social isolation is the best way to show affection and consideration to their fellow men. Many confess it openly, "we do not act responsibly and we paid the consequences." For more than 20 days, they hugged their loved ones from a distance and had time to reflect on their mistakes because, evidently, the violation of sanitary measures and social indiscipline took a heavy toll on them.

COVID-19 surge in municipality of ColombiaThe first positive cases were reported on Calle 27 of Constituency 2, but it was only the prelude to what would happen later. The virus became unstoppable and, on June 28, the health authorities declared the third transmission event in the southern municipality. Faced with this complicated scenario, representatives of the mass organizations and various sectors took charge of the 775 people, grouped in 281 homes.

In this population universe, nine children under 1 year of age, five pregnant women, 142 older adults, 188 vulnerable people, and 316 with chronic diseases were cared for. There, 598 contacts were identified; after the studies, 109 positive patients were detected; of them, 83 were symptomatic and 26 were asymptomatic.


Yolanda AguilarYolanda Aguilar Victoria, a resident of Calle 27, still shocked by what she experienced, says that the first confirmed ones impacted everyone, “but we never imagined the magnitude that the situation would reach. Immediately, the courier service was organized to assist people in their homes; always complying with the instructions, because the most important thing was to cut the chain of infections.”

“We have obtained many experiences, and the main one is that the risk is anywhere and no one is exempt from getting sick. It is very painful that more than 100 neighbors, those you see every day, could die or be left with sequels. Our population has gained in knowledge and now protects themselves more so as not to get sick or put others at risk”, the also activist of the Federation of Cuban Women affirms.

Élida ZequeiraIt is not the first time that SARS-CoV-2 disrupts the existence of Élida Zequeira Olivera, a resident of “Santa Lucía.” In May of the current year, she saw the face of the disease and although she managed to overcome it, she cannot avoid the fears. "I was afraid for my family and neighbors because I already experienced it firsthand, but I never lost confidence that we would win this battle, and that's how it was," she says in a calm voice, aware that the worst moment is over.

Solidarity and affection grew in these days of collective anguish. Baseball coach Leonard Castro Espinosa knows this well; he changed his roles to provide courier services, voluntarily. “The situation was complex and I took on the task of helping those most in need. We are children of this Revolution and I will always be ready to give my contribution.”

Teresa Castellanos, delegate of the communityFor Teresa Castellanos Leal, the delegate of Constituency 2 and president of the Popular Council 1, the work has been titanic. “We adopt all the measures within the community to stop the contagion. The Community Workgroup and the volunteers were aware of the basic needs of all those people. We continue to lead this fight and we will not lower our guard to prevent another event of this type from being repeated.”

That aptitude and gestures of goodwill receive the gratitude of the inhabitants of the place. From Calle 23, Balbina Esquivel Orama, 70 years old, expresses her appreciation to health personnel and members of community groups. “I have no dissatisfactions and I consider that everything has been the result of our social system, which does not abandon any human being, and when we get to the doctor, no one asks us whether or not we are revolutionaries; they all assist us equally."


The municipality of Colombia already accumulates 624 COVID-19 positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic, 12 of them imported and 612 autochthonous. Currently, together with the provincial capital, it is the one with the highest incidence; and only in July, more than 430 confirmed patients are reported, which shows the complexity of the current epidemiological scenario.

To date, three transmission events have been reported in that locality; the latter, identified as Santa Lucía 4 (about the number of the medical office, since one had previously been generated in another area of the same district) closed after 25 days of incessant fighting. However, several patients continue under epidemiological surveillance in places that were declared of high risk.

And yes, no one denies that seeing the dividing line, as a sign of restriction, disappear represents a great relief; but an invisible margin remained in the heart of the community. That, from now on, will indicate the danger and urgency of preserving life. In the face of COVID-19, all care is little, and negligence is paid very dearly; a lesson that should not be forgotten by those who inhabit these lands.