Ecuador, coronavirus hijacks healthcare as victims are left in their homes for days
Originally published by Lise Josefsen Hermann on 13/04/2020
Guayaquil has become the coronavirus epicentre in Latin America. The first case was announced on February 29th, 2020, a 71 year-old-woman who arrived from Madrid. President Lenín Moreno declared a health emergenzy on March 12th, 2020 and the following day this patient died. Over 70% of the epidemic is concentrated in the Guayas region and according to medical experts, 2,500-3,500 coronavirus related deaths are expected in this province in the coming months. Regarding the response of the Government, on April 9th, 2020 the Interior Minister announced an extension of the lockdown and that workplaces will remain closed at least for 10 more days. In addition, schools will stay closed the whole month, and the suspension of international and inter-provincial travel. Mass events have been suspended for April and May. Authorities have also imposed 15 hours of curfew per day in the provinces with most cases, Guayas and Pichincha. There are parts of the population that are vulnerable to the spread of this virus, such as thousands of homeless people and Venezuelans refugees.