QUITO (AP) – Around 1,200 Ecuadorian doctors studying various postgraduate specialties paralyzed their activities inside state hospitals on Tuesday in demand for the payment of salaries and the signing of employment contracts as the country faces the consequences of the pandemic of coronavirus.

In Ecuador there are about 3,500 general practitioners studying some specialty, of which 1,800 are State or social security scholars and the rest are self-financed.

In Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca hundreds took to the streets in peaceful marches with banners such as « Doctors are human, not heroes », « Contract is justice », « We are still waiting for salaries », among others.

The doctor Darío Solórzano, in statements to the Ecuavisa television network, explained that he has not received payment for his work during the health emergency. « That has been difficult, even in the pandemic I had to sell shellfish (to survive). This situation is quite difficult, we cannot bear it anymore ”.

In just over six months of affectations by the new coronavirus, Ecuador registers 119,553 infected and 10,963 deaths.

Dr. Michelle Peñaherrera stated that « working during the pandemic has been very difficult, we have had very little access to biosafety elements, in my personal case, the masks that I use, I have bought them. »

In June and July, the capital’s hospital services were collapsed due to the demand for care from the sick, which forced the installation of tents on the outskirts of those institutions. In September there has been a reduction in the number of infected seeking medical attention.