The education ministry announced Tuesday afternoon that classes will not resume in the current school year. “We will complete the term with online and television instruction and plan to finish on schedule June 30,” Ecucation Minister Monserrat Creamer said in a television broadcast. “It is not what we hoped for but it is necessary given the health emergency.”
The decision affects private, church schools and universities as well as the public education system.
Creamer said the ministry will quickly develop alternatives for student who do not have internet or electronic media access. “We understand that for economic and geographical reasons some students will need alternative methods, including printed material, for completing school work and we will provide it,” he said.
In a follow-up to Creamer’s decision, Interior Minister María Paula Romo said that other orders and schedules related to the Covid-19 health emergency are also subject to extension. “All the dates we have assigned to the restrictions on pesonal mobility are reviewed on a daily basis as we receive information from health experts. Our main objective is to protect the health of Ecuadorians and we will not be coerced to make changes based on any other interests,” she said.
Local cases and death increase
Confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus in Azuay Province increased to 112 in Tuesday’s Ministry of Health daily report while the fatality count reached 16. On Monday, the counts were 100 and 9, respectively. Health Ministry zonal coordinator Julio Molina said that 16 of the local cases came from surrounding provinces that tested positive in Cuenca.
Responding to a claim from Cuenca funeral directors that they have handled 28 deaths that showed virus-like symptoms, Molina said that a lack of testing continues to be a problem. “We are certain there are other cases and other deaths but we cannot confirm these without test results and, as far as the claim by the funeral business goes, some of the the deaths are probably the result of coronavirus infections.”
Molina said that 94 of the province’s 112 cases were confirmed in Cuenca and said that they were distributed throughout the metropolitan area, with the majority of them in the central areas of the city. He added that 15 confirmed Covid-19 patients are in critical condition in local hospitals while 20 are in stable condition.
National case count
The Ministry of Health announced Tuesday that the number of Covid-19 infections in Ecuador has risen to 3,995. The number is an increase of 248 over Monday’s count, which was an increase of 101 over Sunday’s. The ministry said the day-to-day increase was expected due to the growing number of tests being reported throughout the country. The death count related to the virus rose to 220. “We remain optimistic about our progress in combating the virus,” a ministry spokesman said. Provinces showing the highest case counts are Guayas at 2,706, Pichincha, 418 and Los Ríos, 159.