Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil, like many cities around the world, is battling coronavirus with everything it's got. But the city's unpreparedness to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic is only worsening the situation. According to a local report, 600 bodies have been buried in Guayaquil so far, which may or may not have been linked to coronavirus.
Jorge Wated, who is coordinating the government's response to the handling of the dead, said service of the 600 deceased is open to all Ecuadorians regardless of the cause of death (coronavirus or otherwise). Wated noted that each body is buried in a unitary grave with identification and while maintaining respect. This was to deny reports of mass graves being used in the city.
The report pointed out that a joint task force took 6 days to stabilise the body-lifting in Guayaquil. The special team arrives at the house of the deceased to remove the body within 12 hours maximum and it takes about 20-30 minutes for the body-lifting process.
Coronavirus crisis in Guayaquil
Not just funeral homes, but even the hospitals in Ecuador's largest city are overwhelmed due to the rising cases of COVID-19. In a disturbing sight from the city, people had wrapped the dead in blankets or plastic and left them on the street.
In Ecuador, more than 3,700 positive COVID-19 cases were confirmed and more than 2,500 of those were in Guayaquil alone. As per official records, 191 deaths have been recorded due to coronavirus, but health experts suggest the figure might be higher. Moreover, the latest report about 600 people buried in Guayaquil raises serious questions and concerns for the country.
Besides the rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Ecuador, another haunting crisis is the lack of burial grounds and coffins. To address this concern, two cemeteries have been added in the north and south of Guayaquil with a capacity of 1,200 graves for coronavirus deceased. The bodies are being buried in cardboard coffins due to the shortage of wooden coffins in the country.