Ecuador declares new state of emergency, curfew

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has declared a new 30-day state of emergency nationwide and two weeks of curfew amid fears of holiday crowds and gatherings fuelling new coronavirus cases.

At a virtual press conference on Monday, Moreno said the 15-day curfew would begin immediately and last from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., reports Xinhua news agency.

The sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages were also banned, Moreno added.

“Relaxing sanitary measures can lead to death,” he warned.

Other regulations limit the time of travelling by car, and restrict capacity at shopping centres to 50 per cent, and at restaurants and hotels to 30 per cent.

Beaches will be closed to the public on December 24, 25 and 31, as well as January 1.

Ecuador registered 72 new cases of COVID-19 infection in the last 24 hours, for an accumulated caseload of 206,329.

The death toll has climbed to 9,400, with 4,549 probable deaths from the coronavirus, according to the Health Ministry.