President Lenin Moreno's administration will suspend the state of emergency in Ecuador from September 13. This policy has been renewed every one or two months since last March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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"The Constitutional Court ruled that the current State of Exception will be the last one," Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo Wednesday reported.
This Andean country entered a "state of exception" on March 16, shortly after the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Taking advantage of such legal status, the Moreno administration has banned massive public activities, which has allowed it to control social protest at times when the legitimacy of its officials has been hit hard by various alleged corruption scandals.
Judges pointed out that "after having issued several exhortations to national and local authorities to slow down the transition to an ordinary regime, and after this 30-day exceptional period, the Constitutional Court will not admit a new statement on the same facts."
The last time that Moreno's administration renewed the state of exception was on August 14. In mid-September, however, the Executive branch will lose its powers to restrict the freedoms of citizens.
In the next month, therefore, the Ecuadorean government will have to resort to other types of measures to control the spread of the pandemic, whose first case was reported on Feb. 29.
As of Thursday morning, Ecuador had reported 109,030 COVID-19 cases, 6,368 confirmed deaths from the new coronavirus, 3,696 "probable" deaths.