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Ecuador Mortuary System Collapses

May 13, 2020

 In Ecuador, mortuary workers in the Pacific port city of Guayaquil have been unable to cope. Grief stricken Guayaquil residents posted videos on social media of bodies abandoned in the streets, along with messages asking for help to bury their family members.

Police removed almost 800 bodies in recent weeks from homes in Guayaquil, the epicenter of the country’s coronavirus outbreak. The Covid – 19 disease had emergency services, hospitals and funeral parlours overwhelmed.

Jorge Wated, who leads the team of police and military personnel tasked by the government to help with the chaos, tweeted that the joint force, in operation for the past three weeks, had retrieved 771 bodies from homes and another 631 from hospitals, whose mortuaries were full.

600 have now been buried by the authorities who have taken on the task, as the relatives were unable to do so for various reasons, including being unable to afford to do so.

The International Monetary Fund confirmed at the weekend that it had approved $643 million in emergency assistance for Ecuador.

The country, which reported in excess of 30,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus is to maintain a 15-hour curfew, keep it’s borders closed. Public transport will also remain prohibited. The government has warned the actual death toll is much higher than reports indicate, especially in Guayaquil.

Umm Muhammed Umar

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