The Bolivian police have had to sharpen their wits to raise awareness among La Paz residents about the importance of taking measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Footage filmed on Monday shows two police officers disguised as the coronavirus walking the streets of the Bolivian capital to the beat of music, to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining hygiene and social distancing measures, and thus avoiding the spread of COVID-19.

"Living through this national health emergency, we have seen how convenient it is to make these little dolls that involve being able to educate citizens with this creativity," said Bolivian Police Colonel Walter Miranda.

Police officers wearing coronavirus costumes walked the streets and reminded passers-by that it is better for them to be in their homes as a safety measure against the pandemic.

"We are recommending, we are making them see, that [in] the [current] situation there is danger everywhere. And even more so on public roads. That's why they [the dolls] are bothering them. They are pushing them so that they will leave," added Miranda.

La Paz residents have welcomed this unusual move by the police: "It is being [a] very good initiative because, well, it also makes us aware that it is a virus that is in the air," said one resident.

So far, Bolivia has confirmed 96 cases of the coronavirus and two deaths. The country's authorities have declared a national state of emergency, which has been complemented by a quarantine.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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