Quito, September 24, 2020
The Society of the Americas and the Council of the Americas AS / COA (for its acronym in English), based in Washington, the main forum dedicated to education, debate and dialogue in the Americas, as part of the Health Series He invited Juan Carlos Zevallos, Ecuador’s Minister of Public Health, to a public and official conversation, who spoke about the “Actions carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of the country.”
The Health Authority reiterated that the country was one of the first to take preventive measures to contain the spread of the disease, with the declaration of a state of emergency by the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE), which included the closure of the airports. He presented data on the progress of the disease in the country and the epidemiological strategy, as well as the results of the measures implemented. “This is a health, economic and social pandemic. It should not be resolved within hospitals, but rather controlled at the community level, ”he said.
He explained that in Ecuador there were two periods of transmission, local and community, and that the strategy focused on strengthening the first level of care, hospital expansion, ICU beds, active search for cases (georeferencing), telemedicine, active epidemiological surveillance with the contact tracking and isolation, among others, with an investment of more than USD 219 million.
He recalled that difficult times were experienced due to the aftermath of the disease and the impact on the economy. He assured that the country is currently on the way to reactivation. “I am a humble person and I am grateful to serve my country. I want to continue helping the population, ”he stated.
In addition, he stated that, to combat the pandemic, the essential thing is to have the participation of the community and the management of biosecurity measures, such as the use of a mask, hand washing, social distancing and cleaning of surfaces.
Faced with questions from the members of this Council, Zevallos spoke about plans for a possible second wave of cases, the use of positive test results as an indicator, and the importance of collaboration between the MSP, academia and the private sector. .
As part of this dialogue, the Ecuadorian ambassador to the United States, Ivonne Baki, highlighted the management of the Health authority, for its leadership in the proper and timely management of the pandemic. And she stressed that she does not give up the fight against corruption in the health system. “Dr. Zevallos has led the The Daily News Box of Ecuador and the results of his decisions, in the context of financial and resource limitations deserve praise,” he said.
Felicia Knaul, director of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine highlighted the Minister’s presentation by indicating that this is one of the most professional and academic presentations she has seen.
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