Ecuador virus deaths double

FILE PHOTO: Aerial view of the empty Plaza Grande square, with Carondelet presidential palace in the background, in Quito, on March 19, 2020. – Ecuador decreed state of emergency restricting the circulation of people against the spread of the new coronavirus. (Photo by RODRIGO BUENDIA / AFP)

QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — Ecuador marked its highest daily increase in deaths and new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, with the total reaching 14 dead and 789 infected, authorities said.

The number of fatalities rose from seven late Saturday to 14 on Sunday morning, while infections surged from 532 to 789, according to the country’s National Risk and Emergency Management Service.

Ecuador had 166 people infected with the COVID-19 illness on Friday.

It is the Latin American country with the second greatest number of deaths behind Brazil, which had 18.

Ecuador on February 29 acknowledged that the new coronavirus had reached the country.

A septuagenarian who lived in Madrid and who had flown to the port of Guayaquil two weeks earlier became the country’s first case of COVID-19. The woman later died in a hospital.

Like other Latin American countries, Ecuador has implemented curfews, closed borders, canceled classes, and banned all flights in a bid to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

© Agence France-Presse