Ecuador sees over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day, caseload reaches 336,777

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QUITO, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador on Monday said it registered 1,096 new cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the last 24 hours, bringing the total caseload to 336,777.

According to the Health Ministry, in the same 24-hour period, 28 more people died of the disease, raising the official pandemic death toll to 12,088.

The actual death toll is likely near 17,000 as another 4,899 deaths are suspected of being COVID-19 related but have not been verified, the ministry said.

The capital Quito has the country's largest outbreak, with a total of 108,054 cases and an overburdened hospital system, with some 62.34 percent of infections involving people between the ages of 20 and 48.

Pichincha, where the capital is located, and seven other provinces were declared to be in a state of emergency by the federal government on Thursday to impose stringent social distancing measures to curb the spread of the virus.

The Emergency Operations Committee, which manages the health crisis, said Monday the state of emergency helped stop domestic travel and gatherings over the Easter Holiday long weekend that ended on Sunday.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Monday oversaw the vaccination of 215,000 teachers as part of phase 1 of the nationwide COVID-19 immunization drive, which has targeted priority groups since it was launched Jan. 21.

Vaccination "is going smoothly," said Moreno, with 283,106 people immunized so far, 204,902 with the first dose and 78,204 with the second. Enditem

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