05 June 2020
Life under lockdown in Ecuador
What is life under lockdown currently like for our partners in Latin America? Bishop Silvio Cevallos of the United Evangelical Methodist Church in Ecuador has written to tell us about life in Ecuador at the moment:
“We are still under quarantine and the government has established a red, yellow and green traffic light alert system. Some cities are gradually resuming commercial activities, but it all depends on whether they have lowered the rate of infections and deaths. So far, there are about 60 cities which have been on yellow alert since last week.
Vehicles can only be used during two days of the week according to their number plate. Urban transport has resumed at 50% capacity. Only pharmacies, general stores, certain commercial premises and private health clinics are permitted to be open. This week, a change in curfew measures has been decreed. The curfew used to be between 2:00 pm to 5:00 am, now it will be from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am nationwide. Quito remains on red alert and will change to yellow on Wednesday [3 June]. Unfortunately, the number of infections has increased in Quito and the hospitals are now at breaking point. The number of deaths is increasing, but they are going to downgrade the alert nonetheless because the people who earn a daily wage are currently not making a living. There have been protests and daily labourers and workers are demanding their right to work.
So, the alert has been changed to yellow even though the Mayor asked for an extension. Driving without a mask or walking without a mask is also prohibited. If you are caught and are unwell and not isolating, you can receive a fine of $100 US dollars. Now, our temperatures are being taken everywhere we go. Our main international airport has reopened”.
The Methodist Church in Britain has supported the church with a solidarity grant to enable them to support 24 communities across the country with food relief, personal protective equipment and hygiene products during the lockdown ( on the right, setting up relief distribution station). Approximately 1200 families benefited from this relief, and the greatest number of families supported were in the towns of Guayaquil, Quevedo and Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas. These are the places in the country that have suffered from the highest rates of impoverishment and infection during the pandemic.