Hello from Quito, where the sun is shining this morning. We’re in the heaviest part of our rainy season, so sunshine has been a rare treat in the last few weeks.
Quito and all Ecuador is still in a very strict lockdown, with personal car driving allowed only one day a week and a 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew. The government is preparing a “traffic-light system” of relaxing the restrictions province by province, but that’s still at least a week out.
We are physically healthy and have all that we need/ younger missionaries continue to pick up groceries for us each week. We’re working remotely and exercising. We feel supported by people’s prayers and we desire to be faithful in all that God is calling us to through this pandemic.
Nationally, there’s an increasing awareness that the count of confirmed Covid-19 cases is too low, as is the death count.
To illustrate, here are the official government Covid-19 numbers for Saturday, April 18:
- 30,922 Persons tested
- 9,022 Positive for Covid-19
- 8,491 Negative for Covid-19
If you subtract the bottom two numbers from the top numbers, you get the number of tests which haven’t yet been processed: 13,109. Given the current ratio of positive to negative results, it’s likely that at least half of the pending tests will be positive.
The government acknowledges that the testing is too little and the processing is too slow, and they are working on improving both.
Concerning the problems with the death count, the government lists the current Covid-19 deaths as 456, but acknowledges that at least another 675 are suspected to be Covid-19. In addition, deaths by unknown causes have exploded in Guayas Province, the location of Guayaquil (Ecuador’s largest city). Normally about 1,000 people would die in the first two weeks of April, but this year over 6,000 have died. Some of these deaths were almost certainly Covid-19 deaths not included in the official count.
This NPR story on Guayaquil gives a good summary of the situation, By the way, Guayaquil is several hours away from us. It is on the coast and the climate and culture are very different than in Quito. The climate is hot and humid and the people are easy-going and spend a lot of time outdoors. The compliance with government restrictions has been much lower there than in the mountains where we live. What the NPR article is describing is not the situation here in Quito, at least not yet.
Here’s another Saturday to Saturday listing of the official government numbers. As you can see the numbers are continuing to climb.
- April 11 (7,257 Ecuador cases) 315 deaths (606 Pichincha cases)
- April 12 (7,466) 333 deaths (627)
- April 13 (7,529) 355 deaths(634)
- April 14 (7,603) 314 deaths (646)
- April 15 (7,858) 388 deaths (674)
- April 16 (8,225) 403 deaths (736)
- April 17 (8,450) 421 deaths (779)
- April 18 (9,022) 456 deaths (794)
Since it’s Sunday morning, we just watched our church’s Sunday morning service. If you’d like to have 90 minutes of Spanish practice, here it is! Here’s the scripture passage for today; we hope it encourages you as it did us:
The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,.. (Nahum 1:7)