Colombia tops 100,000 coronavirus cases, nears 3,500 deaths

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FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bogota
FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bogota

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's confirmed coronavirus infections tipped across the 100,000 case threshold on Wednesday, as the country's quarantine measures roll on and intensive care units fill.

Confirmed coronavirus cases now number 102,009, the health ministry said, 54,941 of which are active. Some 3,470 people have died.

Wednesday also marked the highest-ever daily increase in confirmed cases with an uptick of 4,163.

The mayor of the country's capital Bogota said over the weekend the city should prepare for a stricter lockdown as ICUs reached 70% capacity, but ruled out tougher measures after the national government turned over hundreds of additional ventilators.

Low oil prices and the lockdown, begun in March and set to last until July 15, have damaged the usually healthy economy, with businesses shuttered and unemployment soaring. The government predicts the economy will contract by 5.5% this year.

Colombia has fewer confirmed cases per million people than neighbors like Chile, Peru, Panama and Brazil, according to data from Oxford University.

The Colombian government says Chile, Panama and Uruguay top it in tests per million inhabitants. Colombia is doing about 15,000 tests per million residents, with a COVID-positive rate of about 16%, according to the government.

(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb and Nelson Bocanegra; editing by Diane Craft)