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06 Apr 2020 | 10:19 PM UTC

Colombia: Nationwide quarantine extended for 14 days until April 26 /update 7

Colombia extends nationwide quarantine for 14 days until 23:59 (local time) on April 26; abide by all government directives

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Event

On Monday, April 6, the Colombian government announced that the ongoing nationwide quarantine due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which was due to expire on Monday, April 13, will be extended for 14 days until 23:59 (local time) on Sunday, April 26. A total of 24 exceptions will be made with the proper documentation and administrative approvals, including leaving one's home for medical care, medication, food, bank services, for childcare and care of elderly people. Under the measures, only one person per family will be allowed to shop for essential items or to carry out financial transactions. Individuals will be required to wear masks in stores, banks, and on public transport, while restaurants will only be allowed to provide deliveries. Transportation service will continue, though limited in service and exclusively for those who require healthcare.

An entry ban on all travelers, including Colombian citizens and permanent residents, remains in place since Monday, March 23, for 30 days. In addition, all of the country's land and sea borders also remain closed since Monday, March 16.

As of April 6, the Ministry of Health has confirmed there are 1579 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 46 associated deaths and 88 recoveries. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.