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Business protest in Colombia ahead of virus lockdown

·1-min read

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Dozens of merchants protested Wednesday in Colombia’s capital city of Bogota against the local government’s restrictions meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The protesters carried signs implying that the measures forcing them to keep their businesses closed will make them go bankrupt. The city is set to experience the third weekend in a row under a strict lockdown.

Thousands of companies in Bogota ceased operations in 2020, according to the Observatory for COVID Monitoring and Reactivation. The economic sectors most affected in the third quarter of 2020 were lodging and food services, construction and manufacturing, according to a statement from the Bogota Chamber of Commerce released Monday.

Bogota Mayor Claudia López has said the restrictions are in response to an increase in COVID-19 infections and the high occupancy of hospital intensive care units. Government data show more than 91% of ICU beds are currently in use.

Colombia has recorded 1,939,071 cases and 49,402 deaths of COVID-19, according to the latest report from the country’s Ministry of Health.