On social media photos and videos have been circulating of bodies left on the streets of Guayaquil, the largest city of Ecuador. A local funeral home owner stated that they were unable to keep up with the demands.
Ecuador now has over 3500 infected people and more than 170 people have died because of the COVID-19 disease. These are unprecedented numbers of deceased for Ecuador. Leading to insufficient space in hospitals, mortuaries and cemeteries.
While it’s not clear on who gave the go ahead for what could be considered desecration, the bodies of COVID-19 ended up on the streets due to this lack of space.
The government has apologized for the images of the deceased lying in body bags on the streets and stated that this should have never happened. To handle the situation, the police and army were ordered to pick up 150 bodies of COVID-19 victims from the streets and homes of locals.
The Guayaquil mayor is now extremely active on Twitter posting about the government’s actions to stop the spread. From spraying the streets to providing additional refrigeration trucks to serve as temporary morgues.
Funeral home owner, Santiago Olivares told AFP that his company was unable to keep up with the demand. He sold the 40 he had in stock on location and 50 additional caskets from the company’s headquarters. By the end of the week, the funeral home chain was completely out of inventory.
In a response to the lack of coffins a donation of 1,000 pressed cardboard caskets were made by local cardboard manufacturers. Providing dignity to many people during these challenging times.