Quito – Ecuador will take $1.45 billion in international loans to help combat the coronavirus pandemic after suffering one of the worst outbreaks in Latin America. The country has recorded more than 30,000 COVID-19 infections — trailing behind only Brazil and Peru in the region — and at least 1,654 deaths. The International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Latin American Development Bank will issue the loans, which will be used to “boost the economy and safeguard jobs,” President Lenin Moreno said. Ecuador’s health crisis has already wiped $11 billion from the economy, according to trade minister Ivan Ontaneda, with the global collapse in oil revenues denting exports. The government expects the economy to contract by four percent this year.