In an attempt to reduce the risks of coronavirus cases in its territory, Galapagos will impose new control measures on travelers.
The main measures are related to the inadmissibility of any respiratory symptomatic person, who meets the COVID-19 case definition (coronavirus) according to the protocol established by the Ministry of Health of Ecuador.
This ban on entering the islands will also apply to travelers who register visits in the last 30 days in countries that the World Health Organization determines with an active outbreak of the coronavirus.
Both restrictions were addressed in a session of the Emerging Operations Committee (COE), which met last Sunday and agreed to request these measures from the Technical Secretariat of the Governing Council of the Special Galapagos Regime.
Norman Wray, president of the Government of Galapagos, explained yesterday that the measures are in force and will be developed as it coordinates with the corresponding bodies.
Although the measures can have an impact on tourism, Wray said that the goal is to reduce the vulnerability of the islands to these types of events. “The citizens in Galapagos are aware and welcome this decision …,” he said.
Last year, Galapagos recorded the entry of 271,238 tourists. Of these, 67% were foreigners (183,000 tourists) and 33% national (89,000 tourists).
The United States was the first foreign country issuing tourists, with about 79,000 tourists in 2019. Then followed the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada, among others.
In the provincial COE it was also agreed that controls be made not only at the airports of origin (Guayaquil and Quito), but also at those of destination, in San Cristóbal and Baltra. This implies double control at airports.
The preventive measures also establish that traffic control technicians conduct a migratory interview to establish a record of the origin and permanence of the tourist.
Another decision of the COE was to declare the institutional emergency to be able to manage the purchase of supplies necessary to attend the preventive measures.
Galapagos has a limited sanitary infrastructure, as it does not have intensive care facilities. (I)
In other provinces
Tungurahua: 50,000 masks for people with diseases
Diana Caiza, mayor (s) of Ambato, announced that with the support of private companies, 50,000 masks were donated and distributed through the Nuestra Señora de la Merced municipal hospital to people with respiratory diseases. In addition, antibacterial gel dispensers for citizens will be placed.
The official said that posters will be printed that will contain messages of the measures to be taken to prevent the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Cecilia Moya, a nurse from the clinic attached to the municipal public company of Potable Water and Sewerage of Ambato, travels the public attention sites delivering gel and giving indications of preventive measures against the coronavirus.
He said that the staff of the company is educated about what is the coronavirus, the measures that must be taken to prevent contagion, as well as what are the signs and symptoms. (I)
Manabi: Hospitals identified to deal with suspicious cases
The hospitals of the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security of Manta and that of Specialties of Portoviejo were designated as the health houses that will give preliminary attention to people with suspicion of being carriers of coronavirus.
If such pathology is confirmed, they will be referred from said medical centers to one of the 15 hospitals designated to treat patients with this respiratory condition.
Melba Morales, director of the Department of Health Surveillance of the zonal coordination 4 of the Ministry of Health, indicated that the flow was established for the mobilization of the probable suspicious patients entering Manabí, considering that there are two main entry points for users of other countries in Manta.
If a suspicious patient with severe respiratory characteristics arrives, he will be urgently transferred to the IESS hospital in Manta, and if the respiratory ailment persists, he will be taken to one of the 15 sentinel hospitals. (I)
Sucumbíos: Activate emergency committee in Amazon locations
The governor of Sucumbíos, Tony Rojas, activated the provincial COE to analyze the actions to be taken against the presence of the coronavirus in Ecuador, which accounts for 6 cases.
Preparing a contingency plan, carrying out massive training and an information campaign in the media about preventive actions are the main actions to be taken in the province, said the governor.
It has also been arranged for COEs to be activated in the seven cantons of the province.
“We are going to implement a contingency plan and preventive training, it will be what we will do immediately,” said the governor.
The mayor of Lago Agrio, Abraham Freire, also activated the cantonal COE.
He announced the acquisition of 50,000 masks, five thousand liters of alcohol and liquid soap.
“This will be to deliver strictly to older adults who are more susceptible to this disease,” said the mayor of Lago Agrio. (I)