The president of Colombia, Ivan Duque, ruled out on Thursday the possibility of reopening the border with Venezuela due to the high levels of contagion of the pandemic of COVID-19 in the oil nation.
Colombia extended the closure of its land and river borders at the end of February until June 1, as part of its efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The South American country of 50 million inhabitants closed its borders since March 17, 2020, when the pandemic began.
“I also know all the emergencies that have the issues of opening the border. But we must also be especially cautious at this time due to the situation of great uncertainty and ignorance about the exponential growth of lethality and also of the virocity that has the COVID-19 right now in Venezuela.” Duque said.
“That is why we have to act responsibly, not ignoring that this is a border that has been characterized as a living border, but also that we have that prudence, because we do not want to experience situations such as those that are occurring in brother in this region,” he added during a visit to the department of Norte de Santander, on the border with Venezuela.
Colombia is the main destination for Venezuelan emigrants fleeing the prolonged social and economic crisis in the oil nation.
Currently more than 1.7 million Venezuelans reside in Colombia, a figure that may increase in the coming months with the decision of the Duque government to grant them a temporary protection status for 10 years.
The two countries, without diplomatic relations and sharing a 2,219-kilometer porous border, are launching mutual recriminations.
While Bogotá accuses the Government of Nicolás Maduro of harboring leaders of the FARC dissidents and the National Liberation Army linked to drug trafficking in his country, Caracas points out Duque to be part of a plan to overthrow the socialist president with the support from the United States.
Since the pandemic began, more than 2.6 million people have been infected and 67,199 have died in Colombia, while 3.35 million doses of vaccines have been applied against it. COVID-19 as part of the Government’s plan to immunize 70% of the population by 2021 and achieve herd immunity.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.