Ecuador doubled its official contagion figure on Thursday to 22,160 after obtaining the results of thousands of COVID-19 tests that were delayed, Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos told at a press conference. Zevallos stated that the results are not yet «uploaded» in the official infographics, in which 11,183 contagions appear, to which we would now have to add the 10,977 that have tested positive in the set of tests that were waiting for response.
«The 10,977 should be added,» said Zevallos, who argued that 12,879 others should also be added to the discarded cases, which «the ratio (of contagion) remains.» It is obvious that when there are more cases tested, the number of positives will rise, but it also has to be countered with the cases that gave negatives,» Zevallos said at a press conference shortly after the head of government, Maria Paula Romo, released today’s official data. To get the latest news about coronavirus, sign up by clicking on this space and we’ll send you the information instantly. With this new figure, Ecuador, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, would rank second in Latin America in contagion after Brazil, which exceeds 46,000, and moving to Peru and Chile, which had so far advanced it in positive, though not in deaths. Zevallos explained that the country had «repressed» thousands of evidence that was pending response and still needs to be updated in the official data, so there is not yet a region classification of the new positives. According to the latest information provided by the Ministry of Public Health, by provinces, that of Guayas, whose capital is Guayaquil, continues to group together most of the cases, followed by Pichincha, with Quito as head, and Azuay, of which Cuenca is its capital. In his previous appearance, Romo also explained the measures discussed by the Emergency Operations Committee on what the transition from the situation of home isolation to that of maintaining a personal distance will be, in anticipation that COVID-19’s restrictive measures will be gradually softened by the number of contagions in certain parts of the country. Although he stressed that the guidelines to the population remain those of staying at home, in the coming weeks it will be valued to allow the resumption of some activities, which will require «smaller capacity, greater distance in the street, organization of shift days» or prioritizing deliveries to homes. The chair of the Committee managing the health crisis in Ecuador stressed that protocols will have to be followed in the offices, as well as in transport, parks and streets in an eventual next stage.