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  • Funeral home workers collect the coffin of a man who died from COVID-19, Quito, Ecuador, May 5, 2020.

    Funeral home workers collect the coffin of a man who died from COVID-19, Quito, Ecuador, May 5, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 25 June 2020
Opinion

Despite the constant increase in infections and deaths, President Moreno's administration believes the pandemic is contained.

The Financial Times Wednesday published a study showing that Ecuador registered 21,500 excess deaths per million inhabitants, a figure which makes this South American nation the world’s country with the highest excess death rate until June 17.

RELATED:

Ecuador: Health Minister Says Quito’s Hospitals Are at Full Capacity

The "Top 10" of countries with the highest rates also include Spain, United Kingdom, Peru, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, France, and the U.S.

Excess mortality is a term referring to "the number of deaths above and beyond what we would have expected to see under normal conditions. It is used to measure the mortality impact of a crisis when not all causes of death are known,” Our World in Data explained.

Over the last 24 hours, 822 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed by Ecuador's authorities. As of Thursday morning, they had officially reported 53,156 COVID-19 cases and 4,343 deaths.

"Despite the constant increase in infections and deaths, Ecuador believes that the disease is contained, according to its Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos," EFE reported.

What is happening in this Andean country, however, could be much more worrying. Statistics released by President Lenin Moreno’s administration distinguish between confirmed coronavirus deaths (4,343) and “probable and still to be confirmed” deaths (2,965).

In any case, "those figures do not include the 10,000 deaths recorded in Guayaquil... in the second half of March and the first of April, in what was the worst humanitarian crisis this city has ever experienced," EFE recalled.

Local outlet El Universo also revealed that 20,400 deaths were registered between March 1 and June 15. Besides the fact that citizens have denounced an under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths, such a figure could balloon since many deaths are registered even weeks late.

So far, the provinces most affected by the pandemic are Guayas, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Manabi, El Oro, Los Rios, and Santo Domingo.

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