Strict lockdown routine for workers cleaning up Bogota’s polluted river

By Jorge Gil Ángel

Bogota, May 6 (efe-epa).- Life has changed drastically for 180 workers building a plant to decontaminate the Bogota River amid a national lockdown.

They have to comply with the strictest sanitary measures to avoid an outbreak of Covid-19 contagion during the project, which is vital for the Colombian capital.

Disinfection booths, masks, latex gloves, thermometers and social distancing are part of daily life for the team.

Since 23 April they have been staying separately from their families at the GHL Style Hotel Bogota Occidente, on the outskirts of the city.

From the moment they wake up, they have to comply with a meticulous regime.

They leave their rooms and go in groups of 10 to have breakfast at the hotel restaurant where their temperature is taken, food is served and each worker sits alone at a table to eat.

Once they finish breakfast they leave the hotel and board a bus, where they also have to sit separately, which takes them to the Salitre Wastewater Treatment Plant (Salitre WWTP), around seven kilometres away.

Jeison Arias, who works as an installation technician and electrician on the site, tells Efe: “It was a drastic change but we are adapting to the situation.”

Édgar Gómez, who is responsible for guaranteeing the protocol established by the government is upheld, tells Efe that before returning to work each of the team was tested for Covid-19.

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