Three top government officials, including Vice President Alfredo Borrero, have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. On Wednesday night the Ministry of Health reported that Borrero was quarantining at home following a positive test. On Thursday morning, it was announced that Juan Zapata, president of the national Emergency Operations Committee (COE) and El Oro Province Governor Fulton Serrano had also tested positive.
According the Health Ministry, the three officials, all of whom have been vaccinated, are suffering only minor symptoms and should make full recoveries. The Ministry said it will take 10 days to two weeks to determine which variant of the virus the men have contracted. The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly but cases of the Delta and Alpha variants are still being recorded in the country.
Following announcement of the positive tests, President Guillermo Lasso announced he would conduct his business virtually for several days. He cancelled a planned trip to Zamora to discuss recent cave-ins resulting from illegal mining under the city.
Writing on social media Thursday, Borrero said he was feeling fine and was being monitored by health ministry doctors. “Although we follow all the biosecurity measures, this was my time to get sick. I face the disease with the confidence of being vaccinated and knowing I am protected from serious symptoms,” he said in one post. “The pandemic is still among us so let’s take care of ourselves. Go get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”
In a radio interview, Zapata said that it is difficult for government officials to avoid the Covid virus. “It is our job to meet on a continuing basis with many people so there is a great deal of exposure,” he said. “Many world leaders have contracted the disease and, fortunately, most have fully recovered.”