Petro expressed his support shortly after Duque announced he would issue a decree to quarantine the country, a measure the opposition senator and medical experts had called for for weeks.
In a tweet, Petro told the president that “your mandatory confinement measure has my support, Duque.”
The opposition leader then turned to his followers saying that “it was difficult, but it’s a good decision” of the president in a surprisingly supportive tone.
A difficult time is coming for all Colombian families but with discipline adversity will be overcome.
Senator Gustavo Petro
Unidentified sources told Caracol Radio that the president called Petro because “there’s nothing good about the situation at the moment.”
Duque, who is accused of stealing the 2018 elections from his rival, hadn’t talked to Petro since the election year, according to the radio station.
The president has refused to take the advice of the opposition and health experts for weeks until after a meeting with health experts on Friday.
Late in the evening, Duque announced the country would be quarantined for weeks on Wednesday to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus that could collapse the country’s healthcare system and cause an unknown number of deaths.
Governors and mayors rebelled on Wednesday when the president unlawfully tried to usurp local authorities’ powers and revoked curfews and planned lockdowns, leaving the president sidelined.
The mayors and governors who previously sidelined the unpopular president, like Petro, expressed their support for the quarantine they too had been demanding.