Photo credit: News18

Reuters

Ecuador’s confirmed coronavirus cases more than doubled to a total of 22,719 after the government released a batch of delayed test results, country’s interior minister said on Friday.

The government had reported 11,183 confirmed coronavirus cases till Thursday.

Interior Minister Maria Paulo Romo said the jump seen Friday was due to a large number of tests being released after an increase in testing capacity, not because of any significant change in the situation on the ground.

Ecuador has acknowledged its death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is higher than the official figures suggest. People have died without being tested and autopsies have been complicated by social distancing measures.

To address those shortcomings, the government said Thursday it would begin conducting “verbal autopsies,” using consultations with family members about what symptoms a person had before dying to determine their cause of death.

Romo said a total of 576 people had died from the virus, up from 560 on Thursday. But the government said an additional 1,060 people had died of suspected COVID-19 without confirmation through testing.

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