Ecuador's top industrial center relaxes COVID-19 restrictions despite sizeable outbreak

QUITO, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's southwest port city of Guayaquil, the country's main economic and industrial center, on Monday relaxed lockdown restrictions on mobility despite having one of the country's largest outbreaks of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mayor Cynthia Viteri, who chairs Guayaquil's Emergency Operations Committee (COE), which manages the local health crisis, announced at a press conference there would be no more restrictions on vehicles in the city, one of the country's most populated.

Since March, vehicles had been limited from freely circulating, depending on their license plate numbers, in a bid to contain the outbreak.

Between March and May, Guayaquil was the epicenter of Ecuador's outbreak, until it was surpassed by the country's capital Quito. The number of cases continue to rise in Guayaquil, but to a lesser extent than before.

According to Ecuador's Ministry of Public Health, Guayaquil on Monday registered a total of 13,830 COVID-19 cases, compared to Quito's 30,723 cases.

Nationwide, Ecuador has reported 126,711 cases of COVID-19 and 7,301 deaths from the disease.

Another 3,794 deaths are suspected of having been caused by COVID-19, but not verified.

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