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Struggling with COVID-19 & violent protests, Ecuador receives support from Rafael Nadal

  • Rafael Nadal sent a heartfelt message of support towards the people of Ecuador, who are grappling with COVID-19.
  • Ecuador has seen huge cutbacks in public spending and wage cuts, causing unrest among its citizens.
Mihir Gawade
CONTRIBUTOR
News
Modified 28 May 2020, 16:38 IST
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

19-time Grand Slam champion and current World No. 2 Rafael Nadal has sent a heartfelt message of support to Ecuador, a country that is grappling with a number of serious problems.

Things haven't quite been right in Ecuador lately. Like most of the world, the country has been reeling with the coronavirus pandemic, and the economic and societal problems that have come with it. Around 38,000 Ecuadorians have tested positive for the virus, with the numbers increasing every day.

A bigger concern for the country is that just like Brazil - which has the highest number of cases in the continent - Ecuador is showing an unusually high rate of positives from the tests conducted. The country has conducted around 110,000 tests so far, with more than 1/3rd returning positive. The death rate in the country, at 8.6%, is also much higher than the global average.

But the problem doesn't end there. To tackle the economic impact of the strict lockdown that has been enforced, president Lenin Moreno has announced a series of cutbacks to curtail public spending. This decision hasn't gone down well with the working class members of the country, who are already strained by the economic inequalities - especially in the bigger cities of Guayaquil and the capital Quito.

Street demonstrations in Ecuador against economic cutbacks
Street demonstrations in Ecuador against economic cutbacks

Masked demonstrators in the two cities have taken to the streets to express their displeasure at the government's austerity measures. And the law enforcers' response has been callous, with the police beating up and injuring several protestors.

Rafael Nadal shows solidarity with Ecuador

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

In such a time of crisis, the people of Ecuador have received a message of support from tennis legend Rafael Nadal.

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The 12-time French Open champion has always talked about his affection for the people of South America and its Spanish speaking population. Nadal has recently experienced crises in his own country relating to the coronavirus outbreak, and knows how difficult the situation can get.

Spain saw a rapid growth in its COVID-19 count from mid-March to April. The country had imposed a stringent lockdown on its citizens, restricting movement within to control the outbreak, and the tennis great admitted he wasn't able to train during that period.

On Wednesday, Rafael Nadal recorded a video message for his long-time partners MAPFRE's Ecuadorian division, showing solidarity with the insurance company and the people of Ecuador.

"I want to send a message of encouragement and solidarity to all my MAPFRE friends in Ecuador, and also send a heartfelt hug to all the Ecuadorian people," Rafael Nadal, who has visited Quito previously on several occasions, said.
"(I want) to tell them that I am with you, that the situation is difficult, but I am sure that we will get out of this soon. A big hug," he added.

The Spanish legend has been actively involved in battling the outbreak of the virus back home in Spain. He has contributed from his own pocket to help the weaker sections of society, and last month also organized a fundraiser that brought Spain's biggest athletes together.

Published 28 May 2020, 16:38 IST
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