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The official figures given on Thursday morning by the Minister of Government, Maria Paula Romo, were 11,183 infected, a number that, alarmingly, doubled hours later.
The number of people infected with COVID-19 in Ecuador rose to 22,160 Thursday –almost double what was announced mere hours before– after the Minister of Health, Juan Carlos Zevallos, handed over the results of delayed tests.
During Thursday morning, the Government Minister, Maria Paula Romo, released the official figures and reported that according to the latest data, there were 11,183 positive diagnoses in the country and that 12,200 cases had been ruled out.
However, Zevallos announced that 23,856 samples were processed and not yet included in the official charts, of which 10,977 were positive. These tests, in addition to those offered by Romo, raise to 22,160 the positive cases across the country.
The Minister of Health also pointed out that 12,879 other samples were negative, thus increasing the number of discarded cases to 25,079.
On the other hand, the figures presented by the Minister only referred to the number of infections, and the mechanism they carried out for the processing of the tests stopped, which discards the number of deaths.
The report submitted by Romo stated that 560 people had died of the virus in the country. However, she noted that there are another 1,028 "likely deaths from COVID-19 at the national level."
Therefore, between confirmed and probable, the number of official deaths in Ecuador rises to 1,588, with the city of Guayaquil being the most affected, 181 deaths.
However, the figure doesn't match data provided by the mayor of Guayaquil, Cynthia Viteri. She, in an interview with The Guardian, released on Wednesday, April 22, said that according to figures collected from cemeteries, the death toll only in this city could be over 8,000 during the pandemic, in a city of about 3 million people.
She also specified that statistics showed that in the first two weeks of April alone, more than 5,000 citizens in Guayaquil would have died from COVID-19.
With these figures, Ecuador ranks second in the region in the number of infections after Brazil. It could rank first in deaths if the data is confirmed, even though its population is twelve times smaller than that of the South American giant and its territory, 30 times smaller.