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Twenty percent of Covid-19 patients will require hospitalization; More car restrictions possible; Body removal in Guayaquil; Cuenca fines

Minister of Health Juan Carlos Zevallos warned Thursday that he expects 20 percent of those who contract the Covid-19 virus will require hospitalization and six percent will require intensive care. “This estimate is based on what we have seen so far in Ecuador as well as the international profile,” he said.

The good news, Zevallos adds, is that about 40 percent of those infected will have no symptoms at all while 30 to 40 percent will experience symptoms that will not require hospitalization.

“Ecuador’s experience with the virus will be somewhat different than that of other countries and we are still trying to understand those differences,” Zevallos says. “We know that our virus is a variant of the one suffered in China, Spain and Italy. There are also local factors that will affect our experience including the fact that we have a much younger population than Italy, Spain and U.S.”

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Although the fatality rate is higher with older victims and those with compromised immune systems, Zevallos says that Ecuador has seen a high hospitalization rate for those aged 30 to 50. “This follows patterns in Spain and France which is very concerning to health experts. In Ecuador, the vast majority of younger cases appear to be recovering but this could change,” he said.

On Wednesday, Zevallos said that most of the world’s population will be infected with the coronavirus before a vaccine is available. He added that social distancing will not change the numbers but will extend the period of infection, reducing the burden on the health system. Various models of the epidemic predict that 40 to 70 percent of the population will eventually become infected.

Deputy Minister of Health Ernesto Carrasco said Thursday that Ecuador’s fatality rate from Covid-19 is 3.7 percent but expects that to drop as more tests are conducted. “We are doing well in comparison to other counties in terms of death rate,” he says. “Worldwide, the rate is 5.2 percent while it is 12 percent in Italy and 9 percent in Spain. The U.S. is doing better, at 2.5 percent, but like us, they are in the early stages of their outbreak.”

On Thursday, Ecuador had 3,163 confirmed cases with 120 deaths, almost 70 percent of them in Guayas Province. There are 84 cases in Cuenca, with 24 of those patients hospitalized.

Virus update

Guayaquil sees panic buying ahead of possible curfew extension
Supermarkets in Guayaquil were a mob scene Thursday morning due to speculation that a 24-hour weekend curfew would be imposed. Guayas Province Governor Pedro Pablo Duart has asked the government for the extended curfew to combat Ecuador’s largest coronavirus outbreak. Waits were as long as two hours Thursday at several Guayaquil Supermaxis and police were called to two locations as some customers attempted to rush the doors. Interior Minister María Paula Romo said the emergency operations committee is considering Duart’s request and will make a decision Friday or Saturday.

Shoppers in Guayaquil mobbed supermarkets Thursday as a 24-hour weekend curfew is considered.

Cuenca police fine more than 1,000 restriction violators
National and transit police say they have issued 1,243 fines for various violations of the national health emergency within the last week in Cuenca. In addition, 157 arrest have been made for curfew violations. Police have issued 387 fines for unauthorized use of private vehicles and have confiscated 23 vehicles for violating the curfew. In addition, hundreds of fines have been issued to those conducting business in violation of the ban on face-to-face interactions for commercial purposes.

Gov’t removes 30 to 150 bodies a day in Guayaquil
Military personnel, working with the Ministry of Health, have removed between 30 and 150 bodies a day from Guayaquil residences since Monday. Government intervention is necessary, the ministry says, because most funeral homes in the city are closed due to coronavirus restrictions. According to army task force commander Jorge Wated, a large burial ground is being prepared to receive the dead in an undisclosed location in the city and should be completed by Monday. The ministry says it is unable to determine how many of the diseased were victims of Covid-19 but estimates a third are virus victims.

Quito asks for more vehicle restrictions
Quito Mayor Jorge Yunda is asking the government for permission to restrict use of private vehicles to one day a week instead of the current two. He says the move is necessary to relieve traffic as well as to keep residents at home. “There are far too many cars on the streets and this impedes essential deliveries and exposes more people to the virus.” The Emergency Operations Committee says it has taken the request under consideration and will make a decision soon. Interior Minister María Paula Romo said Thursday that further restrictions on vehicle use are being considered nationwide.

47 thoughts on “Twenty percent of Covid-19 patients will require hospitalization; More car restrictions possible; Body removal in Guayaquil; Cuenca fines

  1. First, we read this:

    “On Thursday, Ecuador had 3,163 confirmed cases with 120 deaths, almost 70 percent of them in Guayas Province. There are 84 cases in Cuenca, with 24 of those patients hospitalized.”

    Then we read this:

    Gov’t removes 30 to 150 bodies a day in Guayaquil

    “Military personnel, working with the Ministry of Health, have removed between 30 and 150 bodies a day from Guayaquil residences since Monday. Government intervention is necessary, the ministry says, because most funeral homes in the city are closed due to coronavirus restrictions. According to army task force commander Jorge Wated, a large burial ground is being prepared to receive the dead in an undisclosed location in the city and should be completed by Monday. The ministry says it is unable to determine how many of the diseased were victims of Covid-19 but estimates a third are virus victims.”

    Also, with a current total death count of 120 for a population in Ecuador at 17,500,000, how do you arrive at a fatality rate of 3.7%, when in actuality it should be 0.0007% (l120/17,500,000)?

    There is something very wrong and contradictory in this reporting of numbers.

    1. A quick statistics lesson, Mystic. To determine the fatality rate you divide the number of Covid-19 deaths by the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases. As of yesterday, that would mean you divide 3,163 (not 17 million) into 120. I didn’t do the math but that probably works out close to 3.7 percent.

      As for the other statistics, remember what Dr Fauci said: “Forget today’s numbers, the virus is days ahead of those.” In a case like this, the numbers are almost useless at this point, whether they are correct or not. No reason to get all hot and bothered. Check back in in two or three weeks and then you’ll have something to get upset about.

      1. Could not agree more, Dan — Especially your last two sentences.

        My question is: How about having a calm and interesting, maybe even a happy plan day to day — don’t follow everything online. It can make you crazy. Many changes you hear are inconsistent and unclear, at best. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best… Pray. . Life is like this in a crisis. Crisis is a descriptive word meaning a perception of reality — and not a permanent state. Dr. Fauci is a true public servant his entire career and there are many like him in the federal govt. of the U.S. Listen to Dr. Fauci– a truthteller and straight shooter. The reporting everywhere may likely be inconsistent and maybe incorrect. People are fearful — fear is a reaction to crisis – and you can bring your fear under your control. It takes practice, a regular practice of 15 mins alone each day, closing your eyes and clearing your mind. BREATHE and follow your breath. You will feel better.

        1. Lol. Sorry, but you sound like someone that has never had to make a mortgage or payment in his/her life. Must be nice.

          1. or, make a payroll, or keep a business afloat, or care for and protect kids and spouses…. or….or….or……..

          2. Huh? C’mon, whatta you know? You got it dead wrong, Acbig1 . I have had to meet many of life’s challenges alone most of my life, paid off several large debts, student debt,.mortgage payments, etc. as a single mum for a long time. My comments above simply indicate that I have learned a lot in my life about I DAY AT A TIME< breathing, taking each day as it comes and taking care of myself. It is useful in times like this. If people practice these skills (instead of hollering or pickin'on folks) anyone can learn this stuff. Maybe even you.

            1. Ok, so let’s everyone learn “breathing” as a substitute for “hollering or pickin’on folks”. Lady, what planet do you live on?

        2. True, Sue, but the trouble is that the orange menace perceives Dr. Fauci and the other true public servants as members of the deep state. No trump, no problem

      2. So what you are saying is that “that all Covid-19 deaths occur in the afflicted population that has been previously diagnosed”? And…. “all Covid-19 deaths are identified as such, post-mortem”? I think not….highly improbable

      1. Yes, I think a basic understanding of math is important if you want to follow the spread of the epidemic.

    2. M.Rose , thank you ! You are correct . Most numbers are guesses , or worse . Stay well. Stay alert !

    3. The dead didn’t necessarily die of COVID, if I understand right. People were dying and there was a challenge to take the dead bodies out of locked up houses, due to the lockdown and the COVID fears. If I understand right, they couldn’t readily even do tests to find out what they died of.

      1. You’re right…. to put the death toll in perspective, you have to consider the historical trend line, from it make a projection, and given the absence of any other significant variables…. current death toll minus the projected death toll should be roughly those deaths due to the virus

    4. You use the closed cases, it’s a calculation of the mortality rate of people that have acquired the pathogen. Take the number of people that have fought off the disease and lived and divide by the number that have died multiplied by 100. If C is the closed cases and D is the number of dead the formula is C:100=D:N Ratio and proportion, N = the percentage that die from the pathogen. The number is high in countries like Italy that can’t give everyone that needs one a ventilator. In Italy the rate is currently at 43% but that will drop as the curve flattens.. http://www.worldometers.info/coronavirirus/country/italy

    5. Funeral homes closed due to CV restrictions, yet bodies lay in the streets and they need to dig mass graves? Hmmm. EC is a country the size of Colorado, and CO has only had 80 total deaths. Even if you tripled that number due to the population, it wouldn’t get you anywhere near the numbers EC’s reporting . . . .

      1. This report raises more than a few questions in my mind. I retired as a subcontractor in the funeral industry. I find it very odd, to say the least, that removals of deceased persons are not happening due to the closure of funeral homes. Yes, I can easily imagine that burial and memorial services might be limited to immediate family or even prohibited altogether, but removal services? Never. It is deemed medically necessary. Decaying remains pose serious public health risks, potentially more than this virus. Funeral directors and other staff are given medical “right of way” status, everyday and especially during times of crisis such as what we are seeing now. Removal is viewed as a critical public service, to be done immediately, especially urgent in a hot and humid climate like in this instance. Could it be that funeral services operate differently here in Ecuador? I tend to doubt it, but would be interested to know, in case any funeral directors happen to read this comment. I have to ask why funeral homes are not functioning in the case of removals. And why the military has been called in to perform this civil/medical function? And mass graves? Whatever is this all about?

    6. Nothing wrong nor contradictory at all if you understand the underlying facts. People die every day in Guayaquil and Ecuador and the rest of the world. Most of the dead aren’t dying from Covid-19, but they are still counted among the dead. Integrate that into your thinking and you can resolve what you now see as contradictory, all by yourself. If you still need help, I’ll walk you through it.

    7. because over 6000 people die of natural causes and other diseases and illnesses in Ecuador every month. these deaths are from other reasons (yes — people died of things before CV). before all this, 160 people on average died from respiratory illnesses per month per either el tiempo or el mercurio (don’t remember which). without people making caskets and with only 30% of funeral homes in operation, one has another public health issue since where does one put the deceased.

      also — there numbers seemed to be based on people who have been tested and appear to be infected (denominator) vs people who died (numerator). Your method is much more realistic and puts this plandemic into better perspective.

  2. So no matter what we do in Cuenca, Guayaquil continues to violate any “social distancing” and their deeds affect our lockdown status continuing.

    1. I’m more than certain that the government of Ecuador, or any country, will want to get its citizens out and working again as soon as possible. Knowing that, I would like to believe that if there is a bad actor, city, province… that they would simply quarantine that area and set the rest free once the good actors have controlled the pathogen..

    2. From what I read, this is a problem all over the world. The US has the most social distancing violations.

  3. I wish this was managed more on a regional basis. Clearly in Cuenca people are doing a pretty good job of social distancing overall, and there is virtually no traffic issues. I hope the government soon recognizes that and gives some control to mayors and other regional leaders.

    1. My concern is , Not for myself. Besides social distancing which we have done extremely well, we have barely any testing, ventilators, doctors To deal with the very sick

      1. The country is poorly prepared , as you say , too little testing, too few ventilators for the very ill and few excellent personnel, doctors, etc ..Virtually no advanced practice RNs or PAs here that I have heard about… asi es la vida.

        1. To all the people with negative or pessimistic comments I suggest them to change their tone and be more cooperative and condescending in this time of global crisis, do your part, stay home, practice social distancing and stop spreading fear and terror among a society already on the edge, if you can not do that just keep your mouth shut. Stay safe.

          1. ” be more cooperative and condescending”

            Really, Herman? Okay, I’ll cut you slack and assume you aren’t a native English speaker, but go look up the word “condescending” and tell me if you really want us to be more condescending. If you really wanted to use that word, let me know and I’ll be very condescending with you.

            1. Is it condescending to call an Ecuadorian named Hernan, by the English name Herman? I’m just trying to understand the definition, Donaldo. 🙂

              1. typo pendejo. Read the next message from me to Hernan below that.

                Now look at your keyboard and see if the n character and the m character may be in proximity to one another.

          2. You shut up. One can argue that every time CHL posts an article about cadaver pickup etc that it is creates fear for the readers. If you don’t like negative comments stay out of the comment section.

        2. If you consider that Ecuador, which is my country of birth, is ill prepared for health services you should seriously considered moving to a safer place, like the country you came from. Stay safe.

          1. I would guess that, at this point, with Ecuador on the verge of socio-economic collapse (and that was BEFORE COVI-19), there are many non-Ecuadorians considering their options.

    2. Trouble is, the virus doesn’t respect provincial lines. Rampant infections in Guayas will soon infect Azuay if there is any commerce between the two provinces AT ALL

  4. All of the analysis of numbers and percentages are relative to the thoroughness of testing. Does anyone believe that Ecuador has adequate daily testing? The U.S. is only now in a position to achieve adequate testing, given new technology. Ecuador isn’t even close to reporting believable numbers. That’s not a criticism, but is does seem to be factual. Just sayin.

  5. I’d sure like to hear a clear explanation of why

    “We know that our virus is a variant of the one suffered in China, Spain and Italy.” If those countries were their documented origin points, why would what is found in Ecuador be any different?

  6. If you’ve ever spent time in Guayaquil, then you will know just how miserable the conditions must be right now. Guayaquil is hot, crowded, and in many places poverty stricken. For Guayaquil, I’m afraid it’s too late for preventive measures. The next thing to happen is social breakdown. Mobs, criminals, and chaos. I hope law enforcement can hang on. A lot of policia nacional are going to be needed.

  7. SE Asia I do think that restricting traffic, especially out of Guayas would be a great idea, as they are having/causing the most problems and a 24 hour lock down, might be the only way to stop Guayaquilanos from escaping and infecting other communities. Now if Guayaquil is removing 50 bodies a day (which is on the low side of the 30-150) and 1/3 of those are covid, the 16 per day are covid or roughly 100/week. being that we’ve been in lockdown for 3 weeks, we should have much more than 120 dead (closer to 300) just in Guayas.

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