QUITO, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadoran Minister of Health Juan Carlos Zevallos urged the population on Tuesday not to "lower its guard" in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), as the relaxation of the quarantine has caused increased hazardous behavior by citizens.
"I believe that we must not lower our guard, that is the most important point," said the minister in an interview with local radio station Radio Centro.
Zevallos pointed out that at the national level, work continues "so that primary healthcare, the small (medical) centers throughout the Republic, remain very alert to receiving patients and containing the pandemic."
Ecuador reported 135,749 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7,509 deaths on Tuesday, after registering 784 new infections and 32 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health.
Authorities have expressed concern over the capital city of Quito, the current epicenter of the pandemic in Ecuador, which registered a total of 35,972 cases on Tuesday.
The secretary of health of Quito, Ximena Abarca, said that the situation in the city is complex due to the relaxation of the quarantine and unsafe citizen behavior, and warned of a probable new outbreak in the coming weeks.