Upon confirmation of the presence of the Delta and Delta Plus variants of the Sars-Cov-2, Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso, Wednesday decreed a state of exception focused exclusively on the areas where those detections have taken place.
The measure is effective from 8 pm local time Wednesday and will be in force until 11:59 pm on July 28 in the province of El Oro and the municipality of Guayaquil, capital of the neighbouring province of Guayas.
The new decree “will allow increasing the guarantees of health security in attention to the effects real and potentially generated by the new variants, the President's Office said in a statement.
Lasso based his decision on the fact that these variants are particularly between 30% and 60% more transmissible than others, and at a speed between two and three times higher than the primary virus.
As a consequence of the new restrictions, transportation from El Oro to other provinces in the country is prohibited.
In that province, there is also a curfew from Monday to Thursday from 8 pm to 6:00 a.m., and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 pm to 600 are. As is customary in these cases, those sectors which fall under the category of “essential” will be spared from the restrictions.
Education falls under those items which shall need to remain on an online mode, while telework will be mandatory for public and private sectors.
Concerning capacity limitations, in Guayaquil, 50% of capacity is to be observed for indoor venues and 75% outdoors, while in El Oro, there is a blanket cap of 25% for any type of facility.
Transport in El Oro shall not exceed 30% of capacity and in 50% in Guayaquil. In both places, the circulation of private vehicles is limited and allocated as per the last license plate number.
The Government has also launched an appeal to maintain biosafety protocols and to obtain information from official sources as well as to attend vaccination centres on time, following the plan established by the Ministry of Public Health, because this is the only way to fight the pandemic.”
On Tuesday, health authorities decided to accelerate the vaccination process against covid-19 in the coastal city of Machala, the capital of the El Oro province, bordering Peru, after registering several deaths associated with the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2.
After an epidemiological and genomic analysis carried out by the National Institute for Public Health Research (Inspi), it was known that of the 10 people infected by the Delta variant of Covid-19, five have died, three in El Oro and the other two in Guayas.
Health authorities had also confirmed Monday that eight patients in El Oro had tested positive for the Delta variant (one of them with the delta plus subvariant) and another two in Guayas.
Also, according to official reports, the majority of those who died from this variant suffered from other aggravating diseases that worsened their condition, such as diabetes, hypertension and rheumatoid arthritis.