Americas, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Trump sending Ecuador 'desperately needed' ventilators

'They are fighting hard against CoronaVirus!' US president says on Twitter after conversation with President Lenin Moreno

Michael Hernandez   | 24.04.2020
Trump sending Ecuador 'desperately needed' ventilators

WASHINGTON

US President Donald Trump said Friday he is sending "badly needed" ventilators to Ecuador and other aid to assist the country in its fight against the novel coronavirus.

"Great conversation with President Lenin Moreno of the Republic if [sic] Equador [sic]," Trump wrote on Twitter. "We will be sending them desperately needed Ventilators, of which we have recently manufactured many, and helping them in other ways. They are fighting hard against CoronaVirus!"

Although Ecuador and Chile have almost the same number of infections, Ecuador has more than three times the number of deaths as its Latin American neighbor.

Ecuador carried out around 35,000 tests for its population of 17.4 million as of April 22. Interior Minister María Paula Romo said Thursday that there are 11,183 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 560 deaths.

However, Moreno himself has acknowledged that the country’s coronavirus toll may be much higher than indicated by official figures. There has been a big jump in deaths in Guayas, the region at the epicenter of the country’s devastating outbreak, where there was a 5,700 death increase during the first 15 days of April.

While the country is trying to enhance its detection capacity, thousands of tests are still waiting to be processed in labs. Until last week, there was only one lab in the country that could process coronavirus tests.

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