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  • People line up on a street, Bogota, Colombia, July 10, 2020.

    People line up on a street, Bogota, Colombia, July 10, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @enteratee24

Published 10 July 2020
Opinion

"In August, we'll have the largest number of people infected... and many people mourning the loss of their relatives," Mayor Lopez warned.

Because of the increasing number of new COVID-19 cases, Bogota's Mayor Claudia Lopez decreed a strict quarantine for certain neighborhoods in periods of 14 days from next Monday.

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"The city is on orange alert with a strict quarantine not to postpone the spike but to pass it ... without the hospital system collapsing," Lopez announced on Friday.

So far, Bogota has 42,347 out of the 133,973 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Colombia. Besides, this Andean city, which has registered 959 deaths from coronavirus, has its intensive care units working at 75 percent of their capacity.

From July 13 to July 26, the authorities will apply strict quarantine in Ciudad Bolivar, San Cristobal, Rafael Uribe, Chapinero, Santafe, Usme, Los Martires, and Tunjuelito.

From July 27 to August 9, the quarantine will be applied in Bosa, Kennedy, Puente Aranda, and Fontibon. 

Other neighborhoods such as Teusaquillo, Usaquen, Antonio Nariño, La Candelaria, and Sumapaz will not carry out a strict quarantine because they have a low level of infection and a smaller population of older adults.

The strict quarantine means a setback in the gradual reopening of Bogota's economy because it implies full closure of businesses and industries.

In the affected neighborhoods, sports cannot be carried out on the streets, nor can people move from 8 at night to 5 in the morning.

To ease the pandemic's consequences, Lopez also announced that the municipal government will provide a basic income of US$67 to 550,000 families in vulnerable situations. Poor people who become ill with COVID-19 will receive another US$67 and, if they cannot maintain physical distance in their homes, they will be accommodated in hotels.

Through these measures, authorities seek to avoid the unnecessary displacement of two million people in a city where "up to seven million citizens are moving every day," Lopez explained, adding that the exponential increase in cases could slow down next month.

"The pandemic's peak is not a statistic, it is not a curve, it is a tragedy. In August, we'll have the largest number of people infected... and many people mourning the loss of their relatives," she stressed.

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