Ecuador’s COVID-19 cases top 268,000

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QUITO, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) — Ecuador has reported a total of 268,073 cases and 10,669 deaths of COVID-19, after registering 372 cases and 36 deaths in one day, the Ministry of Public Health said on Tuesday.

Another 4,723 deaths that were likely caused by COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed.

According to the daily report from the ministry, Ecuador is facing a sustained increase of infections in all of its 24 provinces.

The capital Quito is the hardest hit by the pandemic nationwide, with an accumulated caseload of 86,763 as of Tuesday.

Ecuador ended on Tuesday a four-day Carnival holiday, amid fears among medical professionals of an increase in cases in the following weeks.

The local press reported crowds, gatherings and celebrations during the holiday, especially at beaches, without the use of masks or social distancing.

In the popular southwest beach resort of Salinas in the Santa Elena Province, the hotel occupancy rate was 60 percent, while bars and nightclubs were authorized to open at up to 30 percent capacity. Enditem

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