With a week to go before the 19-day national quarantine was to be lifted – or extended – by President Iván Duque, on Monday evening, the Colombian head of state delivered his address confirming what many in the country were anticipating: another two weeks in obligatory preventive isolation.
Decree 457 set Colombia’s original quarantine limit to 12:59 pm on April 13. however, by executive order, President Duque reiterated in recent days that some extension was on the table based on the evolution of the COVID-19 curve.
On Monday, according to the Ministry of Health, coronavirus cases in Colombia totaled 1579. Bogotá has the highest number of cases in the country with 779 patients.
“This isolation, which brings out the best in us, is precisely to continue saving lives, breaking the exponential growth of this pandemic,” said President Duque, confirming also that isolation measures for all adults over the age of 70 will be maintained until May 30.
President Duque stressed that the decision to extend quarantine for an additional two weeks is based on recommendations by the team of scientists and experts, and backed by the World Health Organization (WHO). “Our challenge is to continue saving lives,” said Duque.
Among other deadlines pushed back with the extension is the nation’s education agenda with children and adolescents continuing studies from home until May 31.
“We are in very important weeks, that are important to you, important to us, and important as a country,” reassured Duque to 48 million Colombians with the announcement that the next deadline for Mandatory Preventive Isolation will end 11:59 pm on April 26.