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Private vehicle use reduced again; Foreign minister blasts ‘fake’ Guayaquil news; Number of new Covid-19 cases drop

Interior Minister María Paula Romo announced Friday that the use of private vehicles will be reduced to once a week beginning Monday. It is the third reduction in two weeks.

Ecuador Foreign Minister Jose Valencia

“We have made the decision to tighten driving restrictions in the interest of public health,” Romo said in an interview on the Ecuavisa television network. “We are focusing on modifying the behavior of our residents in the fight to control the spread of Covid-19. Our message is, stay at home and, when you are out on essential business, maintain physical distance from others.”

Under the new rules, private vehicles with license plate numbers ending in 1 or 2 are allowed on the streets on Monday; ending in 3 or 4, on Tuesday; ending in 5 or 6, on Wednesday; ending in 7 or 8, on Thursday; and ending in 9 or 0, on Friday. No private cars without safe passage permits will be allowed on the streets on Saturday or Sunday.

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Romo also said that police will add patrols to make sure that those driving with safe conduct permits, such as food delivery services, are on approved business. “In many cases, we have found those with special permits are driving for personal reasons and we will punish those engaged in this activity.”

Meanwhile on Friday, Ecuador Foreign Minister José Valencia lashed out at what he called “fake and inflamatory news” about the situation in Guayaquil, particularly articles highlighting decomposing bodies in the streets. “Yes, we are in a crisis in that city and there is a great deal of human tragedy just as there is in many cities in the world,” he said. “Guayaquil is the epicenter of Ecuador’s coronavirus outbreak and we are struggling to keep up with needs of the residents, including the removal of bodies from residences.”

Referring to international media coverage, he said a “handful of bodies on the sidewalks has been portrayed as hundreds.” In particular, he was upset by an article in Friday’s Washington Post which he said contained inaccuracies and exaggerations.

“The pandemic is a tragedy being played out globally, not just in Guayaquil, and we reject media sensationalism that distorts the truth,” Valencia said. He added he and his staff are distributing information to foreign embassies to “set the record straight.”

New Covid-19 cases drop
For the first time in four days, the government reported a drop in new Covid-19 cases on Friday. The latest count of confirmed cases stands at 3,368 and 145 deaths. The number of new cases was up 205 from Thursday’s count but down from the 450 cases reported a day earlier. Of the total cases, 2,388 are in Guayas Province. The Azuay Province total held steady at 99.

27 thoughts on “Private vehicle use reduced again; Foreign minister blasts ‘fake’ Guayaquil news; Number of new Covid-19 cases drop

  1. meanwhile in El Guabo there is a birthday party in my street with 4 motor cycles and a car parked at the front with lots of joyful singing … wish I could post the photos on here … and wish my Spanish was good enough to report them … if I knew how. they need a number to call to report offenders.

      1. really ? is it at that level ? there are now 5 motor cycles and the car left and came back after 30 minutes … maybe to pick up cakes or alcohol ?

    1. Back in the good ole’ days before coronavirus, we used stay at the Hotel Banano while we tended our cacao in a little community called Palestina. It takes a special type of gringo to reside in El Guabo. I hope we meet someday.

      1. one that lives with a wife and extended family that are having serious health issues with cancer and now coronavirus

        1. I am sorry to hear that, Peter. Life in El Guabo is rugged enough without all that happening.

          1. yes. Cuenca is much nicer but we all do things for family. the cancer patient can’t get to Machala for chemo treatment and the nurse has caught coronavirus while working at the hospital in Machala and is on a ventilator. no family can visit even. if she dies there would be no family funeral. she risked her life tending to patients and now stupid people are risking more doctors and nurses by violating curfew and quarantine. if I wasn’t a Christian and if coronavirus only attacked stupid people then I would say ‘party all night if you wish’ … but it doesn’t.

      2. lorenzo maybe you mean “back in the good old days without 5G.” RESEARCH what the technology does to our bodies…It ain’t good.

        1. so what does it do? stop spreading nonsense without doing research yourself! An dwith research I dont mean watching other nutjobs youtube videos! point to a peer reviewed research paper by someone with an IQ higher than flatearthers and antivaxxers!
          No there aren’t lizzard people either!
          Now take your meds and be nice 😛

      1. Do you mean that someone in El Guabo or any other little one horse town can just call 911 and expect a response? Sorry, Charlie. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve been out of the big city?

  2. President Moreno just said earlier this evening that 43% of the people that have been put under isolation orders aren’t complying. I think he was talking about Guayaquil.

      1. Nothing that I know of but I suspect people that have been identified will be ‘secured’ soon going forward and new infections will also be ‘secured’.

  3. Why do they allow the importation of Cars?
    Car loans destroy the economy, personal finance and pollute beyond belief. Ecuador has enough cars!

  4. How is this affecting the food delivery people? I had heard that the delivery of food supplies to restaurants and food orders from restaurants were subject to the driving day restrictions. Last week they were relieved of the early curfew restriction. So now restaurants are going to need different people every day for their deliveries? If that’s true, it makes no sense to me.

    1. Authorized delivery people have safe-conduct permits which allow them to drive any day and after the curfew.

  5. My understanding is that it is relatively easy to travel by unmonitored backroads over the mountains in and out of Guayas, defeating the whole purpose of curfews and limited driving. Why don’t some people take the virus more seriously? Let’s all quarantine and get it over with!

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