Ecuador reported a slight decline in hospital congestion, after the implementation of a state of emergency in most of the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
The waiting list for hospital beds dropped to 282 people nationwide, after registering a sustained upward trend before the state of emergency, the ministry’s National Director of Epidemiological Surveillance Esteban Arce said during a press conference.
On April 23, the administration decreed a state of emergency in 16 of Ecuador’s 24 provinces until May 20 to curb the increase in COVID-19 infections and prevent the collapse of the health system.
Thanks to these restrictions, which include a night curfew and weekend lockdown, there was also a 73.5 percent decline in emergency care for respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, Arce noted.
Bed occupancy in intensive care units across the country fell to 92.5 percent, a slight reduction compared to the 95.5 percent recorded before the state of emergency, while hospitalizations declined from 73 percent to 66 percent.
Arce warned that despite this improvement, it is necessary for the population to maintain self-care measures, adding that new variants of the virus circulating in the country “could change the epidemiological and health situation again if health measures are relaxed.”
Ecuador, one of the hardest hit by the pandemic in Latin America, has accumulated 404,632 COVID-19 cases and 14,107 deaths.