Quito [Ecuador], April 27 (ANI/Xinhua): Ecuadorian authorities arrested 176 people over the weekend for violating a newly-imposed night-time curfew aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Government Minister Gabriel Martinez said on Monday.
Some "176 people have been arrested for breaking the curfew" in 16 of the country's 24 provinces, Martinez said at a press conference, adding the penalty is imprisonment as established by the Prosecutor's Office, which will apply article 282 of the country's Penal Code to these cases.
According to the article, failure to comply with the legitimate decisions of the competent authorities is punishable by one to three years in prison.
Martinez admitted the penalty was harsh, but said defendants had the right to a legitimate defense.
The press conference aimed to report on the results of the first weekend of lockdown measures put in place through May 20, in keeping with a government decree.
Despite the fact that some people violated the curfew and bans on gatherings, lockdown measures have been successful, said Martinez.
"We believe that in general, behaviour has been favourable," he said, adding residents in major cities largely "abided" by the curfew and other measures.
According to the latest report from the Ministry of Health on Monday, the country registered 374,775 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection and 13,198 confirmed deaths from the disease. (ANI/Xinhua)