People arriving in Colombia from China, Spain, Italy and France will be preventively isolated with the aim of “protecting collective health”.
The measure was released this Wednesday by the President Iván Duque, and was expanded on at a press conference by the Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz.
Ruiz said that the airlines “must notify at least four hours in advance” of the restriction to passengers from those countries destined for Colombia, whether or not they have made any stopover before reaching the country.
Travelers must insulate themselves for a period of 14 days at their place of stay (hotels, residences or others), explained the Minister. “If they cannot afford the stay, the Colombian authorities recommend not coming to the country,” said the minister.
“For the people who entered Colombia in the last 14 days, coming from these countries, and to those who are in flight at this time, we recommend self-isolation for the period remaining to meet 14 days and not attend mass influx sites” he added.
En virtud de facultades de @MinSaludCol como autoridad sanitaria, y dadas las implicaciones de cuarentena por parte de China, Italia, España y Francia, el Gobierno Nacional adopta el aislamiento preventivo de personas provenientes de dichos países para proteger la salud colectiva
— Iván Duque (@IvanDuque) March 11, 2020
Lastly, he explained that the measure does not cover flight crew members and indicated that those who are in self-isolation “must remain at home and prevent transmission of the infection to people close to them.”
So far, Colombia has nine confirmed cases of people infected with the covid-19. Six of them were announced this Wednesday.
El ministro @Fruizgomez y el #ViceSalud, Alexander Moscoso, junto al @INSColombia, @MigracionCol y @MincomercioCo explican las medidas de autoaislamiento que adopta Colombia para la fase de contención del coronavirus en la que nos encontramos. pic.twitter.com/grxYuUc1Ms
— MinSaludCol (@MinSaludCol) March 11, 2020
The first infected patient, confirmed last Friday, March 6, is a young woman in Bogotá who presented symptoms after arriving from a trip from Italy, while the following two (a 34-year-old man in Buga and a woman from 50 years in Medellín had traveled to Spain) were announced on Monday 9.
The six confirmed this Wednesday are of two young women in Bogotá who presented the symptoms after arriving from a trip to countries in Europe; an 83-year-old American in Cartagena who had been to the United Kingdom and several countries in Central America and the Caribbean; and three people in Medellín who had contact with the infected woman, which became the first cases of local transmission of the virus.