QUITO: Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno has declared a 30-day state of exception in eight of the country's 24 provinces, which includes a curfew, due to a spike in coronavirus infections and associated deaths.
In recent weeks, the capital Quito and the largest city Guayaquil have reported an acceleration of infections, saturation of public and private hospitals and a sizable increase in the number of daily deaths from COVID-19.
"I have signed Decree 1282 declaring a State of Exception for 30 days in the provinces of Pichincha, Guayas, Manabi, Azuay, Loja, Santo Domingo, El Oro and Esmeraldas, with curfew from Apr 2 to Apr 9 from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00am," Moreno tweeted late on Thursday.
"The pandemic is not over, we must take care of ourselves!"
The government said the curfew seeks to avoid meetings and crowds that can accelerate contagion.
The measure also puts restrictions on transit in the provinces in question. The airports will not be affected.
In Guayaquil, which last year suffered one of the worst outbreaks in the region, authorities have said the coronavirus variant first discovered in Great Britain is already being transmitted locally.
Ecuador has more than 330,000 infections and 16,877 deaths confirmed and probable by COVID-19, according to official data posted on Thursday.