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Global Times

Ecuador's speed of COVID-19 transmission rises

Global Times

By Xinhua Published: Jan 05, 2021 01:37 PM

Ecuador's Minister of Public Health Juan Carlos Zevallos reported Monday that in 17 of the country's 24 provinces, the speed of transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased, pushing the average positivity rate nationwide slightly higher to 21 percent.

The situation is most concerning in the central highland provinces of Carchi, Canar and Cotopaxi, where the positivity rate has almost doubled to 38 percent, the minister said during a joint press conference with government authorities and the National Emergency Operations Committee, which is managing the COVID-19 crisis.

According to Zevallos, December holiday celebrations resulted in an increased demand for intensive care unit (ICU) beds.

"Our national ICU bed occupancy is between 64 and 68 percent," he said, adding that there are some hospitals that are already at full capacity.

In addition, Zevallos announced that the Health Ministry will begin genome monitoring and sequencing to detect any new variants of COVID-19 that may enter the country.

As of Sunday, the South American country had accumulated 214,614 cases and 9,495 deaths from COVID-19.

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