During late March and early April of 2020, the port city of Guayaquil in Ecuador became one of the epicenters of the novel coronavirus in Latin America. Ecuador is the 8th largest one in population in Latin America, with 17.6 million people, yet is only behind Brazil and Peru today in the total 23,240 number of cases reported. Moreover, Guayas (the province where Guayaquil is located) has nearly 70% of the total cases of infections in the country.
Cities in developed countries with better healthcare systems, like New York, have been struggling to keep up with COVID-19 cases so Ecuador has become a clear and glaring warning of how detrimental this virus can be to developing countries’ health systems. One of the saddest stories and images circulating has been the collapse of the health system in Guayaquil causing people to start dying at home or even worse, on the streets. And while the initial crisis has been contained, this experience raised the alarm to surrounding countries, setting an important standard for stronger social distancing policies to prevent similar outbreaks and health disasters.
One of the reasons that Guayaquil has been able to regain control the outbreak is due to stricter social distancing mechanisms, including the militarization of the city on March 22nd, fines of up to 100 USD, strict curfews, the required use of facemasks, and limited public transportation routes for healthcare workers. This blog explores what the current social distancing measures look like in some of the public spaces and essential businesses in Guayaquil. The pictures collected by our contributors through our Premise app provide a window into that (new) world.
Premise’s technology allows us to ask citizens located specifically in the region of Guayas, where the city of Guayaquil is located, questions. Through a series of tasks, we’ve been able to map different hospitals and health clinics to understand the variety of options citizens had access to during the months of March and April 2020.
One of the main findings from this data was that there seems to be a gap in health access defined by factors such as the location of a hospital and type of funding it receives (public, private, etc.). The photos below are some examples of health clinics, public hospitals and private hospitals.
Premise will continue to monitor Guayaquil t and other locations across the world. Learn more about Latin America and other regions through our dedicated section on our company website www.premise.com/covid19.
If you would like to learn more about how Premise could help you or your organization during these challenging times email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.