At least thirteen people who work at the Colobian presidential palace or Casa de Narino have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the government officials on Friday.

Five of the infected people belong to the Administrative Department of the Presidency, while the other eight are security guards at Casa de Narino.

The 13 individuals were currently self-isolating in their homes.

“On Wednesday, tests were conducted on the president of the Republic, his advisers, support team, as well as the people who make up the president’s primary security team, all with negative results,” the government said in a statement.

Doctors are monitoring the condition of the 13 infected employees and the pandemic health-safety protocols remain in effect, limiting to 20 per cent the proportion of the staff present in the palace on any given day.

Data from city health bulletins show many of those areas have succeeded in slowing the virus, in large part because residents there are able to stay indoors, working from home or living off savings until the crisis passes.

The government disclosed last week that a Casa de Narino security guard and 13 soldiers from the Presidential Guard Battalion tested positive for coronavirus.

Colombia announced its first coronavirus case on March 6 – a 19-year-old who had been studying in Milan. Though the crisis was gathering steam in Europe, it still felt distant in Colombia. Though the Spaniard she picked up on March 10 had a cough.

Colombia has recorded 1,262 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 25,366.

Colombia’s death toll from the illness stands at 822.

On Thursday, the government announced that the restrictions on movement and activity imposed on March 25 would continue until July 1.

The national lockdown, which came weeks after Colombia’s mayors and provincial governors began taking action to contain the pandemic, was originally scheduled to end on May 31.

(With inputs from agency)