Colombian President Iván Duque has announced an extension of the nationwide lockdown for another 10 days that will now continue until the end of this month. According to reports, Colombia extended the compulsory quarantine period until May 31 and said that the sanitary measures will be in place until August. President Duque also announced additional measures that will be implemented following the end of lockdown and in the process of the gradual reopening of the South American state.
As per reports, the majority of schools, universities will remain closed throughout June and July. The online classes for students will continue until July 31. As far as public transport is concerned, the announcement clarified that the busses and other transport will continue to operate at no more than 35% capacity. Restaurants will be allowed to only operate home delivery services, while domestic and international travel will remain shut until June 31. People above the age of 70 have been asked to remain at home and children aged 1-5 will be allowed to visit parks and play areas with precautions in place.
Colombia is facing a looming economic crisis due to the lockdown as a large number of people in the country continue to work in the unorganised sector. Even though Colombia has allowed some sectors to resume work, there are still many who are struggling to put food on the table. The current stimulus package announced by the government represents 2 per cent of GDP but experts believe Colombia needs a larger relief package to mitigate the economic risks.
The lockdown was imposed in Colombia on March 25 and was later extended on three different occasions by the authorities. According to figures by Johns Hopkins University, Colombia has recorded 16,935 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far, of which 613 people have lost their lives. There are currently 12,272 active cases in Colombia of them 136 patients remain under critical condition.
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