Enrique Peñalosa, in a file image.EFE
The former mayor of Bogotá and presidential candidate Enrique Peñalosa, infected with covid, has been urgently taken this Thursday night to the Simón Bolívar Clinic in the Colombian capital after presenting a low oxygen saturation although he is out of danger, according to his campaign team has informed.
The 67-year-old politician and urban planner seeks to reach the first round on May 29 as the candidate of the Equipo por Colombia coalition, which brings together various forces on the right of the political spectrum.
Peñalosa himself had reported in the afternoon through his Twitter account that he was positive for coronavirus, justifying his absence from an expected meeting with his teammates for Colombia, which brings together former mayors Federico Gutiérrez, from Medellín, and Alejandro Char, from Barranquilla. It also included former Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry, who in a hectic day for the coalition announced early that he was declining his presidential aspiration. After the meeting, in which they also discussed the possibility of allowing Óscar Iván Zuluaga, the candidate of the Democratic Center, the ruling party, to join that alliance, they announced around 7:00 p.m. the entry of Aydeé Lizarazo, a candidate from the MIRA party. with Christian roots.
It was later learned that Peñalosa, who had been posting different political messages on his social networks throughout this Thursday, had been rushed to the hospital. “In the afternoon, in addition to the usual symptoms of covid, chills, fever and weakness, Enrique presented a saturation of 84. The doctor who went to see him referred him to Simón Bolívar for some tests. He is out of danger and tomorrow [Friday] he will be discharged,” reported his campaign team around midnight. Early on Friday, his son, Martín Peñalosa, said that all the tests had gone well and that he had had a good night with a little oxygen.
"We wish our good friend a speedy recovery," President Iván Duque said on social media. “We trust that he will quickly return to his work and can be with his family,” said the president as part of a cataract of messages of encouragement expressed from all political sectors. “The Simón Bolívar Hospital informs us that former mayor Enrique Peñalosa is well and stable. We wish him a speedy and complete recovery from covid”, said the mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, with whom he has had bitter political confrontations over the course of the city. An economist from Duke University, in the United States, Peñalosa, a passionate defender of public space, has occupied the Liévano Palace, the seat of the mayor's office, on two occasions (between 1998 and 2000 and the most recent between 2016 and 2019 ).He is recognized for starting Transmilenio, the massive system of articulated buses in the Colombian capital, as well as for the construction of mega-libraries, parks and schools.
Peñalosa is the most recent among several officials and politicians who have reported their infections in Colombia, which is going through its fourth wave before the arrival of the omicron variant, with more than 30,000 new cases reported this Thursday.
The mayor Claudia López herself has been infected twice, as well as the vice president and chancellor Marta Lucía Ramírez, who overcame the disease without major setbacks.
The country accumulates more than 130,000 deaths related to the pandemic, including that of the politician and diplomat Carlos Holmes Trujillo, who died a year ago from the coronavirus while serving as Defense Minister.
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