Since June 2020, Guayaquil has not experienced a scenario like the current one. In that month, the overwhelming curve of infections and deaths that marked the arrival of covid-19 in Ecuador stabilized . Then the indicators fluctuated between slight increases and rapid declines.
Now local authorities are warning “an increase in the severity of the behavior of the epidemic.” Last week there were 1,200 new cases , 50% more than the previous one. The deaths increased from 11 to 17 a day on average ; On Sunday, March 21, 2021, 23 people died from coronavirus.
“80% died in public hospitals and 20% in their own homes,” said epidemiologist Carlos Farhat. Unfortunately, not all patients can be cared for in an intensive care unit because there are no beds ”, warned the municipal coordinator of Health.
The pressure on ICUs is not diminishing and both public and private hospitals have remained at 100%. Given the saturation of these areas, the municipal director of Health, Carlos Salvador, assured that in the city there are 40 people on the waiting list to enter intensive care. Hospitals are making efforts. The Luis Vernaza , the Welfare Board, increased ICU beds. And this Monday, the 22nd the Bicentennial Hospital, of the Municipality, treated 120 people with suspicion of the virus.
Alerts have been activated in several provinces due to the increase in diagnoses. Until now, 2021 adds 100,339 reports, according to the Ministry of Health . So far in March there are 26,700 cases detected in the country. That is why in Manabí , the cantons Portoviejo, Sucre, El Carmen, Santa Ana and Chone issued new regulations. The province reaches 7,267 positive cases in this 2021.
In Sucre , access to the beaches was prohibited on weekends and holidays for a month. On the Crucita beach and the La Boca mangrove, in Portoviejo, a capacity of 25% will be allowed, and the closing time will be at 17:00.
In Chone , the cantonal COE decided not to authorize the opening of bars, discos or tolerance centers. These measures will be applied for 15 days.
In Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas , where it was even requested to return to the red traffic light , restrictions are applied to vehicular mobility, in nightlife centers and in the sale of alcohol. These strategies were ordered by the COE on March 17.
The situation is critical in ICUs because the province only has 26 beds . There they serve from children to adults, who are mostly between 30 and 40 years old.
The director of Health, Katya Tinizaray, revealed that there is an over-demand of 125%. This excess has been treated in chairs in the emergency and triage rooms, only through the supply of oxygen.
In Ambato , the latest restrictions will run until Saturday, March 27. It is about the prohibition on the sale of alcohol after 20:30. The prohibition of driving from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for private cars is also maintained.
Héctor Cobo , municipal head of Risk Management, assured that the plan applied since Carnival has given good results. “In two weeks the infections have decreased and the restrictions will be maintained.”
Cuenca maintains similar measures. The opening of bars, discos and nightclubs and vehicle restrictions from 23:00 to 05:00 were prohibited.
The Guayaquil COE decided to reinforce controls, although with measures implemented for several months. For example, the prohibition of alcohol consumption on public roads is maintained and the sale hours are limited from 06:00 to 22:00 until April 6.
The hotels and meeting rooms continue with a capacity of 30%. While restaurants, commercial premises, cinemas and theaters can operate at 50%.
The processions for Holy Week are prohibited and the authorities suggest not to travel to the beaches because 68% of those diagnosed last week confirmed having visited seaside resorts on the Coast on the Carnival holiday.
For Francisco Plaza, commissioner of the Guayas College of Physicians , these provisions “are lukewarm” and suggest that national restrictions be applied, such as closing the beaches and limiting mobility.
“The cantonal COE must go to the yellow traffic light because the covid areas are congested. It should prohibit mobilization, all kinds of mass meetings and return to a curfew as Europe is doing, ”he said.
The national COE resolved this Monday 22 new measures for Holy Week and urged the 221 municipalities to reinforce controls in their cantons to prevent further infections of covid-19.