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Coronavirus surges in Quito after Ecuador eases lockdown

作者:admin 2020-08-01

Struggling to breathe, Luis Gualotuna arrived before dawn Wednesday at a coronavirus testing site in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, which has experienced an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases since the government started to reopen the economy last month.

Hours later, Gualotuna was still in a long line, waiting.

"My throat hurts, my body hurts. I have general discomfort, and I came here to find out if I have COVID. There is nothing left to do but wait," said Gualotuna, a 34-year-old unemployed carpenter.

The new coronavirus first tore through the port city of Guayaquil in March and April, killing hundreds and horrifying people around the world with scenes of bodies left in the street as authorities struggled to cope with the pandemic. The situation in Guayaquil has since stabilised, but now, hospitals in Quito are filling up and the crematoria at funeral parlours are pushed to keep up with demand.

There have been 82,300 confirmed infections of the new coronavirus in Ecuador and about 5,600 deaths from the disease that it causes, COVID-19. Another 3,353 deaths are believed to be linked to the virus. The country has a population of more than 17 million.

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