New York —

The department of Valle del Cauca, where that city is, has 3,586 people infected with coronavirus

The Santa Elena Gallery was closed for the next nine days to avoid more infections.

Ernesto Guzmán Jr / EFE

The mayor of Cali, Jorge Iván Ospina, closed this Tuesday and for nine days the largest wholesale market in that city due to the high number of people infected with COVID-19 in the area and to combat the expansion of the coronavirus in that part of the capital of the Colombian department of Valle del Cauca, in Colombia.

“First there will be a sanitary cord, food security for the formal and informal workers in the sector, a screening process to identify where the infected are,” Ospina told reporters when referring to the closure of the Santa Elena Gallery.

The closure of the businesses that operate in the plaza was accompanied by the Police and the Army, and there were no outbreaks of violence because it was done after the Mayor and merchants signed an agreement.

Ospina recalled that in the area where the plaza is, the health authorities have detected 80 infected and five deaths have been recorded.

The Colombian Ministry of Health reported yesterday that there are 30,493 infected in the country by the pathogen causing the COVID-19 disease and that the main sources of the pandemic are Bogotá (10,370), followed by the departments of Atlántico (4,116) and Valle del Cauca (3,586).

Mayor Ospina explained that cleaning days will be held in the market since the area directly influences 20 neighborhoods, sectors to which disinfection will spread to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

He also said that despite the fact that the plaza will be closed, Cali “will not suffer shortages” since some businesses in the sector will be open to wholesalers who supply other sectors of the city.

Informal workers ask for help

Despite Ospina announcing aid for the gallery’s informal workers, some of them do not believe and assure that they have not yet received any aid from the Government.

“Neither the street vendors nor the displaced have given us anything, not even help,” Julián Campaz told Efe, who assured that he arrived in Cali three years ago displaced by the violence that took him from his land in the department of Nariño (border with Ecuador).

I regret that the central government “only talks about beds, fans and large companies but they do not give us any help.”

He said that from the place where he lives they are going to kick him out because the “rent, food and children don’t wait” and that his income depends only on what he sells daily.

At the moment Campaz does not know what he will do since the closure of the gallery does not allow him to continue selling fruit, but he assures: “I am not going to starve at home with my children.”