Bogota to impose lockdown as coronavirus cases rise in Colombia

BOGOTA (AFP) – Eight million inhabitants of Bogota will be put under strict lockdown from Saturday, Mayor Claudia Lopez said as the Colombian city battles a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, we are all going to stay at home… In all of Bogota, only strictly essential activities will be allowed,” Lopez said in a video posted on Twitter.

A third wave of COVID-19 had already started and it depended on people’s behaviour whether they could get it under control, the mayor warned in a statement, adding that the restrictions could be extended next week.

The measures are in addition to night curfews imposed the day before by the government that cover seven million people in the cities of Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla and Santa Marta, where the health system is overwhelmed by the virus.

Since the end of March, Colombian authorities have imposed and tightened nighttime restrictions in an effort to stop a new outbreak.

However, infections and deaths have continued to rise and there is concern about the effect of the holidays, traditionally a popular time to travel in Colombia.

The country has so far administered at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 2.4 million of its 50 million inhabitants.

A man is being inoculated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, in Bogota, Colombia. PHOTO: AFP