Ecuador opens mobile centers for COVID-19 testing as hospitals fill up

QUITO (Reuters) - As the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on Ecuador's capital of Quito, authorities are deploying new sanitary mobile centers to ramp up testing and ease pressure on the health system which is being challenged again by a rapid rise in cases.

Reuters July 29, 2020 00:14:08 IST
Ecuador opens mobile centers for COVID-19 testing as hospitals fill up

Ecuador opens mobile centers for COVID19 testing as hospitals fill up

QUITO (Reuters) - As the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on Ecuador's capital of Quito, authorities are deploying new sanitary mobile centers to ramp up testing and ease pressure on the health system which is being challenged again by a rapid rise in cases.

Quito has become Ecuador's new COVID-19 hotspot, with total cases there recently overtaking those in Guayaquil, the country's second-largest city, which in March and April suffered one of Latin America's worst outbreaks.

Quito now has 12,561 cases, with Ecuador's total case count exceeding 80,000, according to the government's figures. Some 600 people have died in the capital, out of 5,532 deaths across the Andean nation.

The government says Quito is experiencing a "critical situation" as intensive care units have reached full capacity.

Authorities are now adapting other areas to attend to hundreds of patients in a bid to avoid what happened in Guayaquil, where many victims died at home due to a dearth of hospital beds.

Authorities have set up tents in schools across Quito to conduct rapid tests, and are providing diagnoses at cultural centers and a basketball stadium. Medical brigades despatched by the Health Ministry are also patrolling neighborhoods with high rates of infection to carry out spot tests.

"The first experience in Guayaquil was painful, but it helped us ... to improve our capabilities," the health minister, Juan Carlos Zevallos, said on state television.

(Reporting by Daniel Tapia; Writing by Alexandra Valencia; Editing by Angus Berwick and Bernadette Baum)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.