Ecuador’s Ministry of Health said that a farmer admitted Friday morning to the José Carrasco Arteaga Hospital in Cuenca does not have the coronavirus. Due his symptoms, the 33-year-old man was placed in isolation while tests were conducted.
Azuay Provincer Governor Xavier Martínez said Friday afternoon that early test results show the man is suffering from either the AH1N1 flu or an infection he contracted through contact with the urine of farm animals. “We are refining our results and should know the exact cause soon,” Martínez said. “We have definitively ruled out that the patient has the coronavirus.”
Friday night, Martínez crticized the news media for spreading reports that the Cuenca case may have been coronavirus. “No official at the hospital ever said this was the situation so I ask the press and broadcast media to be more responsible and take precautions to not spread rumors,” he said. The story of the case was posted on several newspaper websites and broadcast in television and radio news reports.
According to Ministry of Health, José Carrasco Arteaga Hospital, is one of 15 hospitals in the country equipped to handle the coronavirus if cases should be admitted. “The IESS staff at the facility is fully trained to handle any disease outbreak, including the coronavirus,” the ministry said in a press statement.