Society

Covid-19 causes health system in Ecuador's largest city to collapse

In response, the President Lenin Moreno announced that the isolation measures will be reinforced next Monday

Ecuador is one of the most severely hit countries in the region by the pandemic. Image: QB5 News Screenshot
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According to information from CNN Español, in the last six to seven days the health system in the the largest city of Ecuador, Guayaquil, collapsed because of the coronavirus epidemic. As a result, people are dying in their homes or even on the sidewalks of hospitals, without care.

According to the news channel correspondent in the country, the city’s medical authorities say that between March 23rd and March 30th, at least 300 bodies were collected were collected in the homes of city residents.

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But the most frightening thing is that this may be just a part of the real number, since there are dozens and dozens of requests for collection not yet answered.

In videos posted on social networks, families first describe the desperation of not being served by the health system, then they describe the anguish of having to stay up to four days with the corpse of a loved one at home.

Although Ecuador is the second country in Latin America with more cases of Covid-19, behind Brazil. Esteban Ortiz, a sanitary doctor at the University of the Americas in Ecuador, however, told El Comercio that Guayaquil has the highest mortality rate in the country and the highest in the region at the moment: 1.35 meters per 100,000 inhabitants – in São Paulo, this ratio would be 0.92 per 100 thousand inhabitants.

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In total, Ecuador has, on Thursday, almost 3,163 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 120 deaths registered (due to the drama experienced by the residents of Guayaquil in recent days, it is certain that this number is already much higher). The region of Guayaquil accounts for over 70% of Ecuador’s cases.

Official report by Ecuador federal government. Image: Gobierno del Ecuador/Twitter.

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As in all Latin American countries, this number is only a sample of the real number, since coronavirus tests are not being carried out in a massive way in the region, as recommended by the WHO.

In Brazil, the country with the most cases in Latin America so far, 7,031 are infected and 252 deaths were registered until the morning of this Thursday.

Speaking to the population, a few minutes ago, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said that ministers are meeting to resolve the emergency in the Guayaquil and admitted that the situation is worse than official data show.

Reality always exceeds official data. Our scientists have already told us that tens of thousands have become ill and hundreds will die

lenin Moreno, Ecuadorian President.

He called on the population to comply with the isolation recommendations already made as a way to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and said from next Monday new measures will be announced.

According to him, in addition to canceled classes and domestic and international flights suspended throughout the month of April, starting next Monday, the country will be divided into zones (red, orange and yellow), and each region will have guidelines isolation. The idea is that the Guayaquil region is the one with the most restricted circulation measures, but the measures themselves were not detailed by Moreno.

He also said that a project to guarantee employment during the crisis will be sent to the Ecuadorian Congress next week, following the example of what other countries in Latin America, like Brazil, have already approved.