The new coronavirus has spread chaos in Ecuador, is causing near 3900 dead in less than four months, and alerting the rest of Latin America on the health emergency that was announced. But this small andean country believes that the worst is behind him.
If the Covid-19 continues to flow, with an average of 37 deaths per day for a population of 17.5 million people, the government expect to have it under control.
“The pandemic is contained,” said the minister of Health, Juan Carlos Zevallos, during an interview with AFP.
This doctor, 62-year-old assumes the responsibility for the crisis, which has led to scenes of dantean in Guayaquil, the country’s second largest city and epicenter of the regional hiv pandemic. The morgues have been overwhelmed, the corpses were accumulated in the housing, and the hospital system has bent under the influx of the sick.
The Equator, where the first case of Covid-19 was detected on 29 February, is the country which records the mortality rate the highest in Latin America, with 217 deaths per million inhabitants.
It is ahead of Brazil (192), which is almost thirty times more, twelve times more populous and now second in the world for the number of cases and number of deaths after the United States.
With nearly 46, 000 cases, of which 3900 dead, the ecuadorian government began to relax its containment in mid-may when the number of deaths, hospitalizations and calls to emergency for breathing problems have decreased, according to the minister.
Key excerpts of the interview:
What is the status of the pandemic, today in Ecuador?
I think that the situation is controlled. We have gone through a very bad period in Guayaquil. We have a strong demand for intensive care units in Quito, Pichincha province, but in the rest of the country, the situation is under control. This means that there is no increase or spike very important, and that for the moment we can cope.
The current rate remains, however, of 251 cases per 100 000 inhabitants.
Ecuador is among the first in Latin America and this is due to the problem that we had initially in Guayaquil, where there has been a large number of patients infected so sudden and massive ( … ), and that has overwhelmed our capacity.
In march, we had up-to-4604 daily consultations for respiratory disorders, and today, we are between 1000 and 1041 at the national level since the beginning of June. The pandemic is contained.
What of the dead?
The number of deaths, we have reached the 207 (in the hospitals) at the national level for a single day because of the sars coronavirus. Since 27 may, it does not exceed 10 per day (in public institutions).
In the Pichincha (province of Quito, the capital), there are 20 to 24% of additional deaths (with a maximum of six per day during the past two weeks).
Do you still think that 60% of the ecuadorian population will be contaminated?
These are estimates at the global level, especially from what happened in the asian region. In Europe, this has changed a bit, and now in Latin America, especially in Ecuador.
It is possible that in 120 days, we reach the 60 per cent of contagion.
In a study on a representative sample in Quito, we saw that 33% of people had already acquired immunity or antibodies.
This means that the number of infections has been limited with the isolation measures and those taken by the government.
The rate of transmission of the virus has been of lesser impact, more low.
That is it from Quito, the most populous city in the country with 2.6 million inhabitants? The situation, can it overflow?
In intensive therapy, in-patient, but especially in the intensive care unit, there is an increase. This is the consequence of a peak of contagion that occurred there three or four weeks.
80 to 90% of the people who are infected show no symptoms or symptoms are very light. Of the remaining 10% who do have symptoms, only a portion requires hospitalization.
But it is very unlikely that there is Quito as much of the contamination that may (4549).