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World News

Colombia coronavirus cases pass 600,000, deaths close to 19,400

A man wearing a protective mask, due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, walks among merchandise from informal traders after the mayor's office ended the quarantine in Bogota, Colombia August 27, 2020. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Coronavirus cases in Colombia surpassed 600,000 on Sunday as deaths from the virus approach 19,400, ahead of the end to more than five months of lockdown.

The Andean country has 607,938 confirmed cases of the virus according to the health ministry, with 19,364 reported deaths. Active cases number 136,702.

President Ivan Duque declared a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the virus in late March. The measure will end on Monday when the country begins a month-long “selective” quarantine.

Many sectors have already gradually reopened. Under the new measures restaurants can function at 25% capacity but large events such as concerts remain banned.

Intensive care units in Bogota are at about 73% capacity, according to local health authorities. The capital is home to more than a third of Colombia’s cases.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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