Quito [Ecuador], December 31 (ANI/Xinhua): Ecuador's Ministry of Public Health on Wednesday reported 1,186 new daily cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and 22 fatalities, raising the total number of cases to 211,512 and the death toll to 9,469, since the start of the pandemic here on February 29.
According to the ministry's daily pandemic report, another 4,554 "probable deaths" caused by COVID-19 push the actual death toll over 14,000.
Of the country's 24 provinces, at least ten are seeing high levels of transmission, led by north-central Pichincha, with 74,937 cases, including 480 new infections in one day.
The capital Quito, located in Pichincha, remains the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, with 69,067 positive cases, 463 more than on Tuesday.
Quito's Secretary of Health Ximena Abarca told local media there was an increase in the occupancy of intensive care unit (ICU) beds at public hospitals and an increase in mortality.
"It is a situation that should concern us and should alert our public conscience to take every precaution related to COVID-19," said the official.
According to hospital reports, in the capital, the average age of patients admitted with the virus has fallen to around 40.
"The age of the people who are being admitted into the emergency room is no longer people over 60 years old," rather they are middle-aged people with symptoms and health complications, said the official. (ANI/Xinhua)