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Ecuador lifts the Covid-19 health emergency but will contine vaccination efforts

Published on May 15, 2023

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Update to: Country’s covid-19 cases and deaths at lowest points in three years

Published: Volume 7, Issue 22

Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, the disease has claimed the lives of 67,527 people in Ecuador and infected over one million individuals.

On May 11, 2023, the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) convened to terminate the Covid-19 health emergency, marking three years and three months since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a pandemic.

José Ruales, the Minister of Health, revealed that Covid-19 had caused 67,527 fatalities and over one million infections between March 2020 and April 2023. He noted that the year 2021 witnessed the highest death toll, with 42,004 registered cases.

Ruales emphasized that the vaccination campaign served as the primary measure to curb the rising death toll. Over 40 million vaccine doses have been administered, with 84% of the population aged three and above having completed the vaccination regimen.

He highlighted that the current infection and death rates were declining, with entire weeks passing without any Covid-19-related fatalities.

Juan Zapata, the Minister of the Interior and president of the COE, stated that the current Covid-19 indicators allowed them to conclude that “this nightmare has ended,” leading to the closure of the COE in response to the pandemic. The COE had held 262 meetings since March 2023, comprising 42 in-person and 220 virtual sessions.

While the health emergency has been lifted, the National COE resolved to maintain epidemiological surveillance for Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases like influenza.

Minister José Ruales urged the public to continue visiting health centers for Covid-19 vaccinations and booster shots, as the vaccination plan would remain in effect. He also announced the Ministry’s plan to incorporate the Covid-19 vaccine into the regular vaccination schedule in the following weeks, deciding on its annual administration and target groups.


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