BOGOTA – Car cleaners have disappeared from the street crossings of the Colombian capital, and have been replaced by people who hope to make a living during the mandatory quarantine by disinfecting private vehicles amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In the western part of Bogota, a group of independent professionals, who lost jobs due to the national emergency, offers to disinfect cars at a price of around 1,000 to 5,000 pesos (around $1).
“We are, due to the subject of isolation, doing an entrepreneurship program on public roads,” Anderson, an independent lawyer who started this initiative with friends, told EFE.
He said that his venture aimed to help the people meet the health and bio-security requirements imposed by the government to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Dressed in anti-fluid gear and equipped with fumigation devices, they disinfect bicycles, motorcycles, taxis, private vehicles, vans, and cabins of some vans and dumpsters, the leader of the initiative said.
Anderson’s team makes use of the red light at traffic signals to offer drivers to disinfect their vehicles, partially or thoroughly cleaning the areas exposed to contact.
The process is quick and in less than 10 minutes, the men disinfect the inside and surface of cars and spray the drivers with the non-toxic chemical.
Public institutions have been trying to find ways to check the spread of the coronavirus and imposed quarantine measures since March 25. The capital has already registered more than 5,000 cases.
However, it has become increasingly common to find people forced out on the streets of Bogota in an attempt to find ways of income amid the crisis, despite the preventive isolation measures.
At least 11 million from over 20 million Colombian workers are from the informal sectors, posing a major obstacle during the pandemic for households without fixed monthly income.
“I am a professional lawyer and considering that at the moment the Higher Council of the Judiciary has stopped the terms, the independent lawyer does not have much to do,” Anderson said.
With his partner, a mechatronic engineer, Anderson hopes to expand the business and design more instruments like spray-operated or ultraviolet-powered disinfection booths, to help them survive the coronavirus that has infected over 14,200 people in the country so far.