© Provided by the Associated Press
In this image, taken on July 13, 2020, a soldier dressed in protective gear for the coronavirus pandemic stands guard in Ciudad Bolívar, an area with a high number of COVID-19 cases in Bogotá, Colombia. The mayor of Bogotá ordered strict restrictions in areas with high rates of contagion. (AP Photo / Fernando Vergara)

After Colombian President Iván Duque reported the day before that he will increase one more month of mandatory quarantine due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country, opinions remained divided among Colombians.

This is the fifth time that the government has taken this action. The measure – begun on March 25 – was scheduled to end on August 31, but would now end on September 1. Duque said he was aware of the discomfort that the extension of the quarantine would have for many citizens, but « the priority is to save lives. »

Alfonso Pérez, a 46-year-old upholsterer, showed his dissatisfaction with the new extension of isolation before The Associated Press.

« It’s stupid. They don’t think about the people who are in need. I am not enduring hunger at the moment, but my family and friends, because of these prolonged closings, « he said on Wednesday. « We know that the coronavirus is fatal, but it is time for the reopening of the economic and social part, and for those who want to take care of themselves to take care of themselves, but do not affect others. »

In contrast, Luis Herrera, a cell phone vendor in the north of the city, indicated that “at the moment I am staying at home; I went out just doing a medical errand. I support the decision of the health authorities and we must respect and comply with this quarantine and those that are necessary. The economic situation is very difficult at the moment … but that is recovering. Health and life, no ”.

So far Colombia reports 276,055 infected, 9,454 deceased and 142,777 recovered.

Preventive isolation will have some modifications that will depend on the impact of the pandemic. In more than 450 municipalities of the 1,088 in the country, the gradual reopening of the economic sectors will continue, especially restaurants, but restrictions on bars and clubs will continue.

Mayors and governors have supported this new quarantine and in a joint statement called « Colombians to raise the level of commitment to life, assuming with the greatest responsibility the government’s call for self-care, social isolation, and collective discipline, especially of people at high risk for having pre-existing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity. « 

The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Juan Manuel Restrepo, announced the same Wednesday that out of 272 thousand companies, 245 thousand in the manufacturing and commerce sectors have been authorized to restart their activities, which would employ more than 15 million Colombians. .

Daniel Quintero, mayor of Medellín – one of the cities affected by the wave of infections – announced the day before that he tested positive for the virus. “Now I am isolated from my family, serving the quarantine of 15 days. We have put everything in our hands to deal with this virus and we will continue to do so tirelessly. ”