Small town Colombia disinfect to mitigate community spread of COVID-19

Funcionaros de la Empresa de Servicios Públicos de La Calera ESPUCAL fueron registrados este miércoels al desinfectar las calles del municipio de La Calera (Colombia), como medida para evitar la propagación del virus COVID-19 en la localidad. EFE/Carlos Ortega

Bogotá (EFE).- Small towns across Colombia’s Eastern Andes are trying to mitigate community spread of coronavirus by disinfecting empty plazas and historical landmarks. In La Calera, a satellite community 20 km from Bogotá, the municipality sprays streets and vehicles with sodium hypochloride to prevent infection given that the town has two confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“What we do is disinfect areas. Ideally, it should be done on a daily basis, but due to the magnitude of the area that has to be covered, we are trying to repeat within five and seven days,” said Germán Aguilera of La Calera Public Works to EFE.

According to Aguilera, the reception of residents to the disinfection campaign has been positive overall since they understand that this preventive measure guarantees the health of all citizens.”

On Tuesday, Colombia’s Ministry of Health announced that the country has gone from the containment phase of SARS-CoV-2 to one of mitigation given the increase in cases around the country without an epidemiological link.

“La Calera Public Works is doing an excellent job,” says William Alfonso Gavilán, a town resident. “People are taking it seriously, and are requesting that more sectors can be included with the spraying.”

Colombia registered 1,065 cases and 17 deaths of COVID-19 on Wednesday and is taking drastic measures to prevent community spread, including a 19-day nationwide quarantine that began on March 25 and will end on April 13, although the government of President Iván Duque has not ruled out an extension.