QUITO, Apr 2 (Reuters) – Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno declared a state of emergency since Friday in eight of the Andean country’s 24 provinces for 30 days, which includes a temporary and night curfew, amid an increase of infections and deaths from coronavirus in those jurisdictions.

In recent weeks, several cities, including Quito, located in the province of Pichincha, and Guayaquil, in Guayas, have reported faster infections that are saturating public and private hospitals and a significant increase in the number of deaths. daily for COVID-19.

“I have signed Decree 1282 declaring a State of Exception for 30 days in the provinces of Pichincha, Guayas, Manabí, Azuay, Loja, Santo Domingo, El Oro and Esmeraldas, with a touch of

It is from April 2 to 9, from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., “Moreno said on his Twitter account late on Thursday.

“The pandemic is not over, we must take care!” He added.

The government explained that the curfew seeks to avoid meetings and crowds that cause an accelerated contagion, for which “it prohibits the realization of all the events of influx and massive congregation in the eight provinces.”

In addition, the measure restricts freedom of transit and mobility in the provinces in a state of exception, without affecting front-line activities such as health, strategic sectors, basic services, among others, according to the presidential decree.

The airports will continue to operate normally.

The country’s Police and Armed Forces will be in charge of controlling the application of the measures in those provinces.

The government justified its decision with the indiscipline of Ecuadorians, who have not respected the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. But he said that they will not affect the development of the second presidential round scheduled for April 11.

In Guayaquil, which endured one of the worst outbreaks in the region last year, authorities have said that the variant of the coronavirus that originated in Great Britain, one of the most contagious, is already circulating in a community way in the city.

Ecuador reports more than 330,000 infections and 16,877 confirmed and probable deaths from COVID-19, according to official data published on Thursday.

The vaccination plan is moving slowly across the nation, amid harsh criticism for mismanagement and a judicial investigation.

(Report by Alexandra Valencia, edited by Gabriela Donoso)

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