Beware of fake news in Colombia gaining momentum on social media like Facebook about coronavirus and quarantines in Colombia. This is being done by trolls and others with the intension of spreading fake news to generate panic, create confusion and distort the situation.
We have seen many fake news posts and comments on Facebook over the past few months and this is now increasing at a rapid pace.
Be particularly careful of posts and comments on Facebook claiming the quarantine is extended, Pico y Cedula is extended or other posts about the quarantine or coronavirus in Colombia, which do not have links to sources.
There is so much information on social media like Facebook. This makes it very difficult to identify what is true and what is not. Fake news is intended to distort the situation and divide people’s opinions and create confusion.
In this article we look at several recent fake news posts and comments from Facebook and provide the current facts and links to official sources.
Fake News: Nationwide Quarantine in Colombia
Fake news examples about the nationwide quarantine recently seen on Facebook:
- “Will be minimum until end of 2020”
- “Extended to Aug 16”
Reality: The nationwide quarantine in Colombia on June 28 was extended to September 1 and officially ends on September 1..
However, there are hundreds of municipalities in Colombia which are COVID-19 free and have not registered a single case in over 130 days. And there are hundreds of other municipalities where a new coronavirus case hasn’t been registered in three weeks.
President Duque also said that interventions (quarantines) have been made regionalized by the competent authorities in the areas of the country where it has been necessary.
So, quarantines and other measures like Pico y Cedula will continues in municipalizes such as Bogotá, Medellín, Cali and other cities, which are still experiencing higher rates of coronavirus cases. While municipalities without coronavirus cases can start to return to more normal.
Official source, President of Colombia: https://twitter.com/ivanduque
Also, Medellin Guru’s Article about the national quarantine in Colombia is being kept up-to-date: https://medellinguru.com/colombia-quarantine/, which is kept updated. The national quarantine in Colombia ends on September 1.
Fake News: Medellín’s Strict Quarantine with 4/3 Schedule
Fake news examples about the quarantine in Medellín recently seen on Facebook:
- “Mayor shut down Centro (for 2 weeks) and imposed the 4/3 restriction until further notice.”
- “Heard them say that this 4-day on 3 days off thing would be indefinite”
- “The current 4-day/3-day plan continues until Sept 1”
- “The governor just said on Twitter next week might be a total lockdown”
- Fake Twitter graphic posted on Facebook groups claiming the governor of Antioquia saying there would be a total lockdown in Medellín.
Reality: Medellín’s strict 4/3 quarantine is defined only until August 17 and after that there are no more 4/3 quarantines.
The strict quarantine in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley was very strict and did not permit leaving the home for outside exercise or grocery shopping.
Also, only one person per family was permitted to take out pets during the strict quarantine. But this strict quarantine is only on long weekends for four weeks.
According to El Tiempo there were initially a total of four long weekends in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley with the strict quarantine on the following days but a fifth long weekend was added on August 8:
- July 17 to July 20 (4 days)
- July 24 to July 26 (3 days)
- July 31 to August 2 (3 days)
- August 7 to August 9 (3 days)
- August 15 to August 17 (3 days)
Official source: https://twitter.com/alcaldiademed
Also, Medellin Guru’s Article about the preventative measures in Medellín is being kept up-to-date: https://medellinguru.com/covid-19-preventive-measures/
Fake News: Pico y Cedula in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
Fake news examples about Pico y Cedula in Medellín seen on Facebook:
- “Pico y Cedula has been extended to the end of September”
- Several fake graphics have been posted on Facebook without logos and looking nothing like the official graphic above.
The following is a fake Pico y Cedula graphic that was being circulated on social media on July 31.
Reality: Pico y Cedula in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley is currently only defined until August 30, as seen in the first official graphic above. The last day of Pico y Cedula in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley is on August 30.
The following is the official Pico y Cedula schedule from July 20 to August 17:
Starting on July 20:
- Monday, July 20: Restricted – nobody can go out
- Tuesday, July 21: 0, 1, 2
- Wednesday, July 22: 3, 4, 5
- Thursday, July 23: 6, 7, 8
- Friday, July 24 : Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Saturday, July 25: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Sunday, July 26: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
Starting on July 27:
- Monday, July 27: 9, 0, 1
- Tuesday, July 28: 2, 3, 4
- Wednesday, July 29: 5, 6, 7
- Thursday, July 30: 8, 9
- Friday, July 31: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Saturday, August 1: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Sunday, August 2: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
Starting on August 3:
- Monday, August 3: 0, 1
- Tuesday, August 4: 2, 3
- Wednesday, August 5: 4, 5, 6
- Thursday, August 6: 7, 8, 9
- Friday, August 7: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Saturday, August 8: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Sunday, August 9: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
Starting on August 10:
- Monday, August 10: 0, 1
- Tuesday, August 11: 2, 3
- Wednesday, August 12: 4, 5
- Thursday, August 13: 6, 7
- Friday, August 14: 8, 9
- Saturday, August 15: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Sunday, August 16: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Monday, August 17: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
On the restricted days you can only go out to walk a pet like a dog.
Starting on August 18 is a new Pico y Cedula schedule that no longer has strict quarantines on the weekend.
Starting on August 18:
- Tuesday, August 18: 0, 1
- Wednesday, August 19: 2, 3
- Thursday, August 20: 4, 5
- Friday, August 21: 6, 7
- Saturday, August 22: 8, 9
- Sunday, August 23: 0, 1
Starting on August 24:
- Monday, August 24: 0, 1
- Tuesday, August 25: 2, 3
- Wednesday, August 26: 4, 5
- Thursday, August 27: 6, 7
- Friday, August 28: 8, 9
- Saturday, August 29: 2, 3
- Sunday, August 30: 4, 5
Official Source, Área Metropolitana del Valle de Aburrá: https://twitter.com/areametropol
Official Source, Antioquia Governor: https://twitter.com/LuisFSuarezV
For Pico y Cedula schedules in other cities and municipalities in Colombia we recommend using the Mayor’s Twitter for the city or municipality.
Also, Medellin Guru’s Article about Pico y Cedula in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley is being kept up-to-date: Pico y Cedula: Grocery Shopping Restrictions During Quarantine
Fake News: Penalties for Violating the Quarantine
Fake news example seen on Facebook:
- See the above fake news graphic
This above graphic is clearly fake with no government logos. Also, fines in Colombia are normally multiples of the minimum daily wage in Colombia or minimum monthly wage. Fines typically are not even numbers.
There is a penalty of up to 936,323 pesos for violating Pico y Cedula in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley.
In addition, according to decree issued by the Antioquia Government, the penalties for violating the strict quarantine in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley include:
- Fines provided for in article 18.104.22.168.4.21 of decree 480 of 2016
- Criminal sanction provided in section 368 of the Penal Code
- The application of the measures in law 1801 of 2016
The fines in article 22.214.171.124.4.21 of decree 480 of 2016 may be successive and their total value may be up to a sum equivalent to 10,000 legal minimum daily wages. The minimum legal daily wage in 2020 in Colombia is 25,260 pesos.
So, the fines for violating the quarantine can be successive and can be up to a total of 252.6 million pesos.
The criminal sanction under section 368 of the Colombian Penal Code says: “anyone who violates a sanitary measure adopted by the competent authority to prevent the introduction or spread of an epidemic, shall be in prison for four (4) to eight (8) years.”
Use the Spanish Language News Sites and TV
Learn some Spanish (or use Google Translate) and use the Spanish language news sites and TV news to find out the facts about changes to the quarantine and Pico y Cedula. These major changes are typically reported quickly after announced on many news sites in Colombia, particularly:
- El Colombiano – http://www.elcolombiano.com.co/
- El Tiempo – https://www.eltiempo.com/
- Minuto30 – https://www.minuto30.com/
Also, watch Spanish language TV news such as RCN, Caracol and Telemedellin.
Medellin Guru’s Coronavirus Series
Medellin Guru has a series of articles about the coronavirus pandemic and the impacts in Colombia: Also, these articles are being kept up-to-date, as this is a fast-moving topic:
- Humanitarian Flights from Colombia to the U.S. and Other Countries
- Beware of Fake News in Colombia About Coronavirus and Quarantines
- Medellín Starts Free COVID-19 Tests on the Medellín Metro
- New COVID-19 Preventive Measures in Medellín to Contain the Pandemic
- Penalties for Violating the Quarantine in Medellín are Stiff
- COVID-19 Orange Alert in Bogotá: New Lockdowns in Bogotá
- Medellín Starts to Lift the Quarantine: Enters Smart Isolation Phase
- Colombia Started to Lift the Quarantine – What Does this Mean?
- Coronavirus: When Will the Quarantine Be Lifted in Colombia?
- Colombia Starts to Lift the Quarantine in COVID-19 Free Areas
- Colombia Quarantine: Nationwide Quarantine Extended to September 1
- Coronavirus in Colombia: Myth vs Reality – Current Status
- Coronavirus Hospitalization in Colombia: Myth vs Reality
- Are Medellín and Antioquia Winning the Coronavirus Battle?
- 23 Cities with a Major Increase in Coronavirus Cases in Colombia
- Colombia Coronavirus Death Rate: What are the Chances of Dying?
- Coronavirus: When Will Things Return to Normal in Colombia?
- COVID-19 Testing in Colombia: Realty About Coronavirus Testing
- Life as an Expat: During Medellín’s Coronavirus Quarantine
- Colombian Visa Process Changes: Due to Quarantine and Coronavirus
- Medellín Coronavirus Closures – What is Closed in Medellín?
- Pico y Cedula: A Restriction for Grocery Shopping in the Aburrá Valley During the Quarantine
- Pico y Cedula in Colombia: Which is Strictest Out of 5 Largest Cities?
- Medellín Quarantine Starts on March 20 for Four Days
The Bottom Line: Beware of Fake News in Colombia About Coronavirus and Quarantines
Beware of fake news in Colombia on social media like Facebook about coronavirus and quarantines in Colombia. We included several examples of fake news in our above article but there is so much fake news out there. Be careful, there is lots of misinformation and fake news out there on social media, particularly on Facebook.
Unfortunately, there are many trolls and others out there taking advantage of the coronavirus situation and spreading fake news to generate panic, create confusion and distort the coronavirus and quarantine situation in Colombia.
However, it is normally fairly easy to spot these fake news posts and comments on Facebook. The fake news posts and comments normally will not include links to official sources and if they use graphics, the graphics normally do not include official logos or are clearly fake.
We recommend going to official sources listed above in our article above to confirm things. There may be changes to the quarantine or Pico y Cedula but make sure to confirm with an official source or look at the local Spanish language news.
In addition, you can visit the Medellin Guru website. We normally update our articles about changes to the Colombia quarantine and changes to Pico y Cedula within hours after officially announced. Furthermore, we have thousands of readers and several readers help us keep up with changes.
Furthermore, we update our popular article about coronavirus statistics in Colombia daily. We frequently see posts and comments on Facebook that have inaccurate coronavirus statistics for Medellín and Colombia.
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.
Editors note: updated on June 29, 2020 with information that the quarantine in Colombia has been officially extended to September 1 and added new Pico y Cedula schedule for Medellín and the Aburrá Valley until August 9.
Editors note: updated on July 31 to add a fake Pico y Cedula graphic being circulated on social media.
Editors noted: updated on August 8, 2020 with the new Pico y Cedula schedule for Medellín and the Aburrá Valley until August 17. Also, added a fifth week to the rolling 3 day quarantine, 4 day working for the Aburrá Valley.
Editors note: updated on August 16, 2020 with the new Pico y Cedula schedule for Medellín and the Aburrá Valley until August 30.
Editors note: updated on August 26, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia officially ends on September 1 and last day of Pico y Cedula in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley is August 30.
Colombians watch TV news, RCN, Caracol, Telemedellin. The Facebook/Whatsapp fake news only lasts a few hours and usually only fools the foreigners. I guess that’s what this article is referring to?
Also, the fake news posts are found in Colombian Facebook groups. So, not exclusive to foreigner Facebook groups. The main problem is on Facebook.
To gain perspective one can compare things from one country/state/city to another using this site: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/ and then click on the world link at the top or scroll down and click on a US state. One can click column headings to rank order from least to greatest. One will find that Colombia as a whole is doing better than most countries. Colombia comes in at 172 deaths/million which compares favorably with Peru 558, Chile 480, Brazil 412, Mexico 341, Ecuador 313, Panama 306. This is also remarkable considering that the Netherlands, Ireland, and Sweden are all over 350 and the USA is over 450.
For example, when I use this site to focus on my county, Bexar County Texas which is mostly occupied by the city of San Antonio, I see that we have had 323 deaths. I then compare that info to the Colombian city of interest to me, Pasto. Pasto has between 0.20 and 0.25 of the population of San Antonio so I would expect perhaps the same fraction of deaths. Pasto has had 81 deaths (https://covid.pasto.gov.co/) which compared to San Antonio’s deaths is 81/323 or 0.25. Therefore the death rates are comparable between the two cities.
Thanks! Yes, Colombia compares well in coronavirus deaths per million to several countries, we just updated our article about the coronavirus death rate in Colombia – https://medellinguru.com/colombia-coronavirus-death-rate/
Any idea when we can get a bus from Medellin ,,to Armenia ??
After reading this article, I am more confused now than I was before.
The article recommends being careful about what you see online due to much fake news out there, particularly on Facebook, about coronavirus in Colombia and the quarantines in Colombia. People are posting that quarantines are extended when they aren’t, fake calendars of Pico y Cedula and much more.
Great informative post. Folks need to be cautious with “news” from Colombia Reports.