Coronavirus in Ecuador: End of State of Exception
Original Article in Spanish on El Universo: Coronavirus in Ecuador: Criticism and expectations causes the passage to a new stage, without a state of exception or curfew
The step towards a new normal in Ecuador starting September 13, without a state of exception or curfew and with greater freedoms in the midst of the coronavirus, generates criticism and moderate expectations in the productive sphere.
In addition to the end of the curfew, it will be possible to circulate by car without restriction due to the number of plates and meetings are allowed. Control passes to the municipalities of the country.
Fernando Sacoto, president of the Ecuadorian Public Health Society , sees an established script to progressively relax the isolation and confinement measures, surely with the aim of reactivating the economy, with which he agreed, whenever it goes hand in hand of the evolution of the epidemic in the country.
“Although there is no explosive transmission like the one experienced in Guayaquil, between March and April, what there is (in Quito) is a sustained growth in transmission (…). The problem is that in several cities of Ecuador what happens is that the hospitals continue to collapse and especially the intensive care units remain at the top. That will determine that the number of deaths continues to increase, “said the manager.
The Minister of Health, Juan Carlos Zevallos, said that with the exception of Azuay and Guayas, in the 22 remaining provinces the contagion rate is under 1. “We have a personal conviction to continue acting so that there are no new outbreaks, so that the spread of the virus can be contained as it has been until now by the health network, “he added.
Pablo Zambrano, president of the Chamber of Industries and Production, considered that without the state of exception the reactivation of the productive sector will be allowed, which, little by little, is coming forward in the midst of a crisis as complex as the current one.
“What is required is that consumption be activated, so that in this way the production chains are regularized. One of the key aspects will be to maintain employment and this is achieved through production, which requires investment, “he added.
Caridad Vela, Secretary of Communication, said that the Government has taken parallel measures that allow working with some flexibility.
The government appeals to the joint responsibility of the citizens with the campaign I take care of myself. This is because there will no longer be the legal basis to apply a curfew or avoid traffic mobility or social gatherings.
Daniel Simancas, university professor, stated that the Armed Forces and the Police have played a fundamental role in controlling and monitoring compliance with mobility, restriction and protection measures.
“We have to continue to count on this contingent to be able to control the virus, because this pandemic is not over yet,” Simancas said in an interview.
Those controls, for example, have been applied since last July 17 in Quito’s parishes where there are more infections.
Ximena Abarca, Secretary of Health of the Municipality of Quito , said that the control was successful: “When we calculated the reproductive rate, we saw that there was a decrease in the intervened parishes.”
María Paula Romo, Minister of Government, said that the controls will be like those carried out by municipalities, Police, police stations, on a regular basis
“There are still restrictions for bars, karaoke, and nightlife centers, but this will not be regulated from the state of exception but from the permits that are required (from) municipalities,” Romo said in an interview.
Mobility, beaches or the use of public spaces are local competence, said Juan Zapata, director of ECU911, who added that the Ministry of Labor determined that in the health crisis the modality of telework should be put before it as an alternative.
In addition, the use of a mask is regulated by municipal ordinances in various locations, Zapata added.
The Constitutional Court (CC) indicated in its ruling that there will not be a new renewal of the state of exception. She argued that it cannot be extended permanently to overcome problems that have become undefined.
As of September 13, the state of exception does not apply. Then, the police and the military leave the control because the curfew is over, the circulation for the last digit of the license plate is over and the prohibition of freedom of association or meetings of any kind is without effect.
Go to the councils
Municipalities can regulate hours of operation of premises and opening of public spaces and vehicular circulation, among others.
The traffic light system will remain in force and the councils will define the prohibitions. Classes will continue virtually with pilots in schools that comply with protocols.
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