More than half of Colombia’s governors have implemented curfews to prevent coronavirus outbreaks as President Ivan Duque is under fire over his perceived ineptitude.
The governors have been advancing drastic measures to prevent a possible collapse of healthcare in their provinces, ignoring the national government.
The governors’ proactive response to the crisis is apparently bothering Interior Minister Alicia Arango, who urged governors and mayors “to act in a coordinated manner, and adopt and replicate” measures taken by the Duque administration.
The National Government urges local leaders to act in a coordinated manner and adopt in their territories the measures of prevention, containment and mitigation developed by the technical teams of the entities at the central level, which, from a holistic vision and based on evidence, formulate the relevant strategies for the Colombian context.
Interior Minister Alicia Arango
Duque and his ministers, however, are under fire for doing too little too late, and coming up with responses to the global pandemic that prove not to work.
For example, the national government opened a national emergency line where people who believe they have symptoms of the virus can report their suspected infection.
Multiple people who believed they had been infected and called the number told Colombia Reports they were never called back as promised.
Duque was already suffering a high disapproval rating, which appears to be worsening over his response, or alleged lack thereof, to the virus.
Particularly the president’s decision not to close airports is being criticized with people claiming this decision is based on the fact his sister is an executive of the country’s largest airliner, Avianca.
Colombia: The lesson is, if you elect politicians who represent the 'rosca', you can be certain that in a disaster they only protect their rosca friends and not the population at large. Without good advisors around them, politicians take stupid decisions.#CoronavirusColombia
— emmalouisejay (@colconquistada) March 18, 2020
Epidemiologists have been urging mandatory confinement to prevent the spreading of the virus that could knock down the country’s fragile healthcare system within days.
Unlike Duque, governors have taken this advice at heart and have imposed curfews while the president ordered only people older than 70 to stay at home “to protect them.”
It is unclear how this measure would have any effect as the elderly will still be allowed to go food shopping in places where they would be most likely exposed to the virus.
Colombians are massively bashing Duque and his measures, and have expressed their support for their regional and local leaders taking the initiative.