Greater control on flights to Galapagos due to false Covid-19 tests
Quito, Jan 7 (Prensa Latina)
Authorities of the Galapagos Government Council are tightening controls at Ecuadorian airports for travelers to the islands, after detecting at least 200 false certificates of PCR tests meant to detect Covid-19.
The falsified results were discovered in the air terminals of Quito and Guayaquil in the period from August to December 2020, according to Angela Mendoza, the district director of the island territory in the second mentioned city.
In statements to a national television station, the official warned that although these people were not allowed to travel to Galapagos, there are more and more attempts to violate the regulations related to measures against the disease.
To stop these irregularities, the Government Council of Galapagos works together with 140 laboratories authorized in this Andean nation to carry out PCR (nasopharyngeal swab) tests.
These institutions are in charge of confirming to the district directors if the passenger really had a negative result in samples evaluated in these entities.
According to Mendoza, those who violate the regulations the most are national travelers.
She added that in this first week of January alone, officials detected around 50 fraudulent test certificates.
Since the first case of Covid-19 was diagnosed in this Andean nation on February 29, 2020, official reports in the Galapagos Islands show 953 positive cases of the disease, in addition to eight deaths – six confirmed and two probable corresponding to people with symptoms associated with the ailment.
With an area of 8,010 kilometers, Galapagos has an approximate population of 33,042 inhabitants, according to the 2020 demographic projection of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses.
One of the concerns of local and national authorities is that this territory, the first natural heritage of humanity, is considered a safe destination for tourism, a designation validated last November when it received the Safe Travels Seal for complying with biosecurity protocols, safety measures and sanitation in the context of Covid-19.
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