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A Colombian man wears a facemask as he passes a mural in Bogota A Colombian man wears a facemask as he passes a mural in Bogota  (AFP or licensors)

Colombia begins easing Covid-19 lockdown

Colombia's president announces that the nationwide quarantine lockdown will end at the beginning of September, as the Latin American nation remains one of the ten most ravaged nations in terms of coronavirus cases.

By James Blears

Colombia's President Ivan Duque has announced the imminent end of the blanket quarantine, at the beginning of the coming month.

He explained that Colombia will carefully start up a new phase, during which isolation will be specifically selective, with an emphasis on individual responsibility involving common sense.

Each region's situation and plight will be individually monitored and assessed. This could lead to a graduated resumption of economic activity, while health measures will continue to be applied.

National air transport will be re-established, but the worst affected places will remain closed down.

Balancing lives and livelihoods

It's a bold and controversial calculated risk.

So far, Colombia has over 540,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and more than 17,000 have already died from it.

Latin America remains the epicenter of the pandemic.

All of this must be balanced against the corrosive and rapidly worsening impact on economies.

The considerable gamble involves lives and livelihoods. 

26 August 2020, 12:09