QUITO, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador recorded 741 new COVID-19 infections and 44 more deaths in the last 24 hours, for a total of 410,870 cases and 14,459 deaths, the Ministry of Public Health said on Monday.
Another 5,327 deaths are considered to be COVID-19 related, but not verified, according to the ministry.
The province of Pichincha led in new infections in the last day with 338 cases, including 309 in the capital Quito, the epicenter of the pandemic in the South American country.
Since April 23, 16 provinces in Ecuador that were registering a growing number of infections have been under a state of emergency decreed by the government to curb the rise in cases and avoid the collapse of the health system.
The measure, which includes a night curfew and a weekend lockdown, will last until May 20.
During a press conference on Monday, Juan Zapata, president of the National Emergency Operations Committee, said that the government will not be asked to renew the measure.
He explained that since there has been a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospital bed occupancy during the state of emergency, municipalities will resume control through ordinary laws.
As of Saturday, Ecuador had administered a little over 1.4 million doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 to people in priority groups and the elderly.