The government of Ecuador on Wednesday ruled out attempting to renew the state of emergency in place since March 16 after the Constitutional Court warned shortly before that it would not accept a new extension and reminded that the restriction on fundamental rights this cannot be permanent.
The court has confirmed that the state of emergency, originally imposed for 60 days and extended by a further 30 days, “does not constitute a permanent and suitable mechanism for dealing with adverse situations of an uncertain nature”, such as the COVID-19 pandemic in this case. Ecuadorians will regain freedom of assembly, movement and association on September 13th.
The Interior Minister, María Paula Romo, has warned that the conclusion of the state of emergency does not mean the end of the state of emergency, but that a new phase must be initiated in which “self-care and self-protection” are imposed. The government has launched the “I take care of myself” campaign to encourage citizens to work together.
Lenín Moreno’s executive also hopes to step up consultation with regional and local authorities, which would now assume more powers. A spokesman for the Emergency Operations Committee (COE), Juan Zapata, has warned that the municipalities will be responsible for organizing the use of public spaces and the mobility of vehicles, reports “El Comercio”.
Ecuadorian health officials reported 1,519 new cases of COVID-19 this Wednesday, bringing the overall balance since the pandemic started to 110,549. The Ministry of Health has confirmed 6,410 deaths from the disease, but suspects another 3,700 deaths.