President Duque announces that Colombia will go into a total shutdown from midnight on Tuesday, March 24.
Speaking at the end of the first of four days of quarantine in Bogotá and neighbouring departments, President Duque has announced that the whole country will go into shutdown from 11.59 pm on Tuesday night.
The country-wide quarantine measures will be in place until April 13. Find out more about the measures and how you will be impacted in our Quarantine 101 story.
Accompanied by several medical experts, Duque spoke of the impact that the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has had on the world, but he said that if it is handled properly, Colombia can slow the pace of the spread.
“We know the difficulties and challenges that this presents for families, but it’s a fundamental decision to protect health,” he said. He said that the measures the country has taken so far — such as limiting events and social contact — have had an impact, but more drastic action is neded.
The president stressed the importance of protecting the most vulnerable members of society, explaining that while many people who have contracted the virus have got better, Colombia has to protect its grandparents.
Coronavirus cases in Colombia: March 20 update
“It’s a time to protect ourselves,” he said. “It’s a time to understand that our behaviour can save lives. It’s a time to cooperate strongly. And to value, more than ever, it’s a time to value the work of doctors and medical staff.”