Ecuador is one of the worse coronavirus affected nations across the Latin American region. Although the official figures report 421 fatalities, the new figures that have emerged from Guayas province suggest that thousands have died. According to the Ecuadorian government, nearly 6,700 people have died in the coastal province in the initial two weeks of April which is far more than fatalities reported.
According to an international media report, the death rate is so high that the authorities cannot keep a count of it. This comes as the Ecuadorian government last week started distributing wooden coffins to residents in the worst affected city, Guayaquil. The government had also set up a dedicated helpline to help families who need to remove a corpse from their homes.
According to government figures, 14,561 people have died in Guayas, due to all causes, since the starting of march and on an average, 2,000 people die in the province every month. As per the latest figures, the coronavirus pandemic has affected a total of 8,450 people in the country out of whom, 838 have recovered. However, experts have attributed the low number of infected cases to lack of testing in Ecuador.
Earlier this week, Ecuadorian authorities said that police have removed around 800 bodies from homes in Guayaquil, the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, after complaints of mishandling. Reports of abandoned bodies lying on the streets shocked the world which forced the President to announce an investigation in the management of bodies who died from the novel coronavirus.
The COVID-19 outbreak overwhelmed the health and emergency services of the Latin American nation and the funeral homes buckled under the pressure of handling so many bodies. Pedro Pablo Duart, Governor of the province of Guayas, thanked Barcelona Sporting Club for donating coffins to help bury hundreds of deceased due to the health crisis.