A major laboratory in Ecuador’s capital closed and halted processing coronavirus tests Friday because technicians didn’t have basic supplies like tubes, pipettes, masks and gloves needed to safely analyze the specimens.
The Biotechnology Institute at Quito’s Central University had been expected to receive and process tens of thousands of tests but its director said only 5,150 could be done before running out of equipment.
“We can’t process any more tests because of a technical failing,” Lucy Baldeón said.
Ecuador is one of nations hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Latin America. As major cities like Quito begin to reopen, authorities have insisted on the need to increases testing. But those efforts have been complicated by corruption scandals, delays in acquiring tests and now shortages of essential lab materials.
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