Ecuador registered 543 new cases and nine more deaths from COVID-19 in the past day, bringing the number of total cases to 447,176 and deaths to 15,722, the Ministry of Public Health said Tuesday.
The coastal province of Guayas led the country in the number of new cases, with 294 infections and most of them in the provincial capital of Guayaquil.
Since January, Ecuador has seen increasing infections, which has caused the saturation of the hospital system, with intensive care units nearly at full capacity.
The Ecuadorian government announced Tuesday it will begin mass vaccination against COVID-19 in the second week of July to curb the transmission of the virus.
“The immunization plan is being adjusted these days to start with mass vaccinations by the second week of July,” Health Minister Ximena Garzon said in a virtual press conference.
The Ministry of Public Health is coordinating with the Armed Forces and the National Electoral Council to “set up mass vaccination centers to avoid crowds,” she said.
President Guillermo Lasso, who took office in late May, has said his government aims to inoculate 9 million Ecuadorians during his first 100 days in office to achieve herd immunity.