Mon, 21 Sep 2020

QUITO, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador on Monday said it registered 242 new cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and 10 deaths from the disease in the previous 24 hours, taking its total caseload to 94,701 and the death toll to 5,932.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, the actual death toll could be close to 9,500 as another 3,539 deaths are suspected of being COVID-19 related but have not been verified.

The city worst hit by the outbreak is currently the capital Quito, where a total of 16,210 people have tested positive since the country's first case of the virus was detected on Feb. 29.

Quito replaced the southwest port city of Guayaquil, which was initially the epicenter of the national outbreak.

The Ecuadorian capital has seen a rise in infections since lockdown measures were relaxed on June 3 to reactivate the economy.

Local authorities blame the increase in cases on residents who fail to wear face masks and comply with social distancing rules.

In the past week, medical brigades fanned out through Quito's worst-hit neighborhoods to offer rapid tests to those with suspected symptoms.

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