Ecuador government launches curfew and state of emergency

Guayaquil, Ecuador. Photo: Drono del Aire/Shutterstock
Guayaquil, Ecuador. Photo: Drono del Aire/Shutterstock

President Lenín Moreno of Ecuador imposed a night-time curfew and placed 16 provinces under a state of emergency to curb the spread of the coronavirus and avoid a hospital network collapse. Similar decisions have been in other South American countries, such as Argentina and Chile.

The measures were recommended by the country’s Emergency Operations Committee (COE), Ecuador’s highest authority for health and security actions. The decree comes into effect on Friday and will last for 28 days. Only essential services will remain open during weekends and every day after 8 pm. During the week, non-essential businesses may operate at reduced capacity during normal business hours.

Over 100 patients are currently awaiting ICU vacancies in Ecuador. The country registers a total of 362,000 infections and 17,800 deaths. Last year, the port city of Guayaquil faced utter collapse, as authorities were forced to dig mass graves and several bodies were simply left in the city’s streets.