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16 Apr 2020 | 11:58 PM UTC

Colombia: Residents protest in Bogotá amid quarantine April 16 /update 9

Residents demand aid and block roads during protests in Bogotá amid COVID-19 restrictions on April 16; further unrest possible in the near term



Residents in parts of Bogotá gathered to demand authorities provide aid amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictive measures on Thursday, April 16. Protests and roadblocks were reported in La Colombianita and Brisas del Volador, among other areas of Bogotá. Security forces deployed tear gas to disperse crowds, although no injuries have been reported as of Thursday evening (local time).

Between Monday, April 13, and Monday, April 27, gender-based movement restrictions are in place in Bogotá to control the spread of COVID-19. Per the directives, only men will be allowed to leave their homes on odd-numbered days, while women will be permitted to do so on even-numbered days. Transgender individuals will also be required to follow these guidelines according to their gender identity. Movement will remain limited to shopping for medications, cleaning products, and food supplies.

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 8, the Ministry of Health has confirmed there are 1780 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 50 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.


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.


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 disease.