Colombia’s Minister of Health and Social Protection, Fernando Ruiz Gómez, responded to accusations by the Prosecutor General that the country’s largest airport El Dorado is presenting deficiencies with coronavirus health screening.
“Today all air operations in the world are helping travelers return to their countries of origin and this implies extreme pressure on airports,” said the minister, stressing that no air terminal in the world is prepared for such passenger traffic. Ruiz called on the citizens to understand the exceptional situation that not only Colombia is in, but the entire world, and where it is necessary for everyone to accept that the situation is complex and could become more complex in up-coming days.
The Minister called on airlines operating in the country to collaborate with health authorities who are following the guidelines of the government and Civil Aviation authorities. Colombians and permanent residents returning to the country are being screened by immigration officials of Migración Colombia with temperature controls taken by members of the district’s Health Secretariat. “If there is no solidarity, there is collaboration, and if we do not help each other, it will be very difficult for us to address the situation,” said the Minister.
President Iván Duque, in a televised address to the nation on Sunday evening, reiterated that the measures of the Health Emergency have allowed the health authorities to anticipate the spread of the pandemic. “We will evolve to the next phase of the strategy, adjusting to new realities based on the knowledge that obtain,” said Duque.
In other developments Monday, as the country clamps down on coronavirus, the Ministry of Culture announced that all the museums of the entity, among them Museo Nacional (National Museum) are closed, as well as the Tierradentro Archaeological Park in Huila. “We are facing a fluid situation that generates uncertainty and, for this reason, we are actively working on a revival plan for the cultural sector that will allow us to overcome the health emergency,” said Culture Minister Carmen Inés Vásquez.
MinCultura, in coordination with national and territorial entities, is enacting prevention measures in other cultural spaces from indigenous reserves to Afro communities. On-site public services in these cultural spaces will continue, as will virtual services. Public libraries, theaters and cultural centers that gather more than 500 people must reschedule events, activities, meetings, training sessions and temporarily suspend guided tours.
The Archaeological Parks of San Agustín, Alto de los Idolos and Santa María La Antigua del Darién remain open to the public, informed the Ministry.