The Covid in Ecuador led citizens to experience the bloodiest of attacks during the coronavirus pandemic.
By: Yholymar Cabrera Rivera
It was March 2019, when the president at the time, Lenin Moreno, declared a national emergency after several days of suspicion that the virus had reached the country; much more, when a Chinese citizen, who had been admitted to the Eugenio Espejo Hospital in the city of Quito, died after several days of being in intensive care and whose cause of death warned of symptoms similar to those that, until then They knew each other about the coronavirus.
However, Catalina Andramuño, Secretary of State in the Health portfolio, denied such a possibility.
See the report here:
The arrival of Covid in Ecuador
To date, it is not certain who was really the carrier of the virus in the country, although it was attributed to a woman who had arrived from Spain to spend New Year’s Eve 2019 with her family in Quevedo, province of Los Ríos.
Many believe that the control actions implemented by the Government to prevent the spread of Covid in Ecuador were not applied.
The entry through the airports barely had inadequate sanitary controls, which contributed to the situation becoming almost uncontrollable due to the force of the virus, especially in the city of Guayaquil, the most populous city in Ecuador.
The emerging measure issued by the Government was for one month, between March 15 and April 15, 2019, an erroneous calculation, since the cases increased, the requests for help grew in all corners of the country.
Ecuador against Covid
The ineffective measures caused the virus to proliferate immediately, causing public hospitals and private health homes to be unable to provide care for patients, giving way to people being filled with panic and fear due to the force of the disease. Consequently, fear seized the entire population.
It is estimated that of 100% of the population, 95% locked themselves in their homes. This was complemented when suddenly, among the families, infected people were identified, a situation that made everyone become a sepulchral scene, due to Covid in Ecuador.
Family losses due to Covid in Ecuador
Everyone tried to avoid anyone finding out if they had been hit by the deadly virus, much more so when they knew that their loved ones had to be taken to the hospital, which, in many cases, became a journey of no return.
It was like that, that the deaths came; a fact that the authorities, at all levels, tried to avoid making public; but in Guayaquil the situation became untenable; Some families mourned their dead loved ones in hospitals, while other homes, where they tried unsuccessfully to recover their sick, disposed of the corpses, leaving them on the streets.
It was a bleak panorama, while the authorities announced that they were taking measures to adapt spaces in hospitals in order to receive more patients, and assured that they were equipping ICU rooms to deal with Covid in Ecuador, acquiring oxygen and everything they considered necessary to combat the disease.
However, in the midst of this chilling pandemic, made official by the WHO – World Health Organization, came the corruption scandals that arose from the acquisition of medicines, to covers for the deceased.
At that time, it was not only the covid-19 pandemic, but also the corruption pandemic, blows to an unstable government in the face of public opinion.
The Covid in Guayaquil, Ecuador
The city of Guayaquil had more deaths from Covid-19 than entire countries, and their fight to grant them a decent burial was quite a challenge.
As of the third month of 2020, Ecuador was a country with empty cities and collapsed hospitals.
The pandemic caused by the coronavirus took over the entire nation, but no one suspected that the city of Guayaquil would be the epicenter of this terrifying virus.
The local and government authorities did not have the slightest idea that the virus had incubated with lethal force in many inhabitants of the most populous city in Ecuador.
Heartbreak turned to despair
Suddenly, testimonies from people began to add up, all of them desperate; the news became more and more dramatic, and graphs of abandoned bodies appeared on the streets and, what was even more serious. it was learned that they had died in many homes waiting to be picked up.
In a note from BBC Mundo, «according to official data, in the province of Guayas, whose capital is Guayaquil, between March 15, 2020, and April 1 of the same year,» more victims had been reported. of covid-19 than entire Latin American nations: 60 dead and 1,937 infected (1,301, only in the capital of the province)»
But this figure «does not include all the people who died without being tested for the presence of the virus,» BBC Mundo mentioned.
Collapse of the funeral system
Faced with this situation, the President of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, formed a joint task force to be able to bury all the deceased people.
What was happening in the province of Guayas was horror, which no one ever imagined, since everything seemed to be concentrated in this great city.
Mandatory quarantine for new arrivals
Ecuadorians who returned to the country were taken to hotels where they were concentrated to carry out the PCR tests; Many of them, anguished, called their relatives and the relatives communicated with the media asking that they tell the government authorities to help them reach their destinations.
A mother who was returning with her two children from the United States, in the midst of sobs, told me via cell phone that she could no longer be in the place where they had been concentrated after their arrival at the José Joaquín de Olmedo airport, she assured that no one they had carried out the respective test and that there was a person who insinuated that, if they paid him something, they would let them leave.
According to his account, there were around 60 people piled up in the place; when we asked him if he could send us a photograph, he commented that it was forbidden and that «this seems like hell,» he said.
Guayaquil, capital of the province of Guayas, collapsed due to infections and deaths
In Guayaquil, the cases were so many that journalist Blanca Moncada, from Diario Expreso, started a Twitter chain requesting information from relatives and neighbors of people who were in this situation.
«I made this decision due to the desperate cry of many citizens who have to wait up to 72 hours and even more for the authorities to collect the corpses that remain in the houses; I seek to quantify the magnitude of this tragedy because, in terms of figures, Guayaquil is currently a great gray cloud,» the journalist said in an interview with BBC News Mundo.
Also read: The Covid in Honduras today is strengthening and is leaving havoc like a hurricane.
Corruption during Covid in Ecuador
Despite all these facts, the problem in Ecuador was not only burying the dead, but also acts of corruption. The dark businesses in the purchase of medicines, covers for corpses and even in the issuance of cards for the disabled, from which politicians in perfect health were benefiting, came to light.
As a consequence, the country no longer faced only the problems caused by the pandemic, but also the administrative ones. since mafias that were discovered not only in Guayquil, but also in Quito were benefiting from the resources for the emergency that the Government had allocated. and even in small municipalities.
One of these municipalities that was immersed in the controversy was that of the Tiwintza canton, located in the province of Morona Santiago.
In response to the complaints, the intervention of the State Attorney General’s Office did not wait and acted, in some cases with raids and arrests and in others with the opening of investigation processes.
Just as it happened with the now ex-Mayor of Quito, Jorge Yunda, who had made an acquisition of tests to detect covid-19 cases, that turned out to be a scandal, and that, later, even cost him the mayor’s office.
This scenario lasted all the time while the Government of Lenin Moreno was dying
What came next?
On May 24, 2021, after a tense electoral campaign, colored by the problems caused by the health emergency and the acts of corruption, after the presidential elections of the second round, Guillermo Lasso came to power, who in his campaign assured that so soon the Government took office, it would launch a vaccination plan throughout the country; Said plan was proposed to be fulfilled in a time not exceeding 100 days, which the government achieved.
After meeting the self-announced deadline, the figures for those vaccinated with the first and second doses were encouraging, since the most vulnerable sectors had been vaccinated, which were a priority for the Government in addition to the personnel of the Ministry of Health.
However, the campaign failed to convince everyone, many sectors because of their dogmas and others because of their ancestral beliefs, did not accept the vaccine.
They preferred to stay within their traditions and, to date. A high percentage have not been vaccinated, as is the case of the Shuar community, an indigenous population mostly concentrated in the provinces of Morona Santiago, Pastaza, and Zamora Chinchipe.
In these places, the health authorities admit that 70% of them have not been vaccinated.
To this is added an underreporting of infected and deceased.
Covid news in Ecuador
At present, as confirmed to the media by Tu Barco News, Human Forum and connected from Ecuador, Andrea Bersoza, Undersecretary of Health in Zone 6, the cases after vaccination have decreased, but she affirms that the pandemic has not gone away, Therefore, precautions must be taken.
The truth is that the lessons that the Covid-19 pandemic leaves in Ecuador, not only is spared in a virus that caught the rulers and their inhabitants off guard, but also, as a result of this pandemic, a series of events occurred of corruption, where it was evident that the opportunity of many to obtain personal economic benefit from the public money destined to the acquisition of tests, medicines or vaccines weighed more, since over time it has become latent that there is a deficiency in the equipment of the hospitals, not only in infrastructure, but also with specialized personnel.
We seek to deal with this detail with the Minister of this state portfolio in Ecuador, because there is no other official voice that offers us details about these investments or acquisitions, but unfortunately, until the closing of this edition and despite the efforts made , the official required to obtain these versions, did not attend to us.