According to NST, Ecuador’s vice president Otto Sonnenholzner issued an apology after corpses of coronavirus victims were left on the streets to rot in the city of Guayaquil.
“We have seen images that should never have happened and as your public servant, I apologise,” said Sonnenholzer, who is heading the country’s Covid-19 response, in a statement broadcast by local media on Saturday.
The government called in troops to pick up 150 corpses from streets and homes earlier this week after mortuary workers in the city were unable to keep up with the removals.
Although the government has imposed a state of emergency and introduced a nightly curfew in an effort to contain the spread of the disease, residents have been publishing videos on social media showing abandoned bodies in the streets. It’s a terrifying sight to see as they demand the removal of the bodies.
— theBARBZwantyoutostayhome (@BEASThowdareyou) April 4, 2020
Families at home, on the other hand, have been locked up with the bodies of their relatives for up to four days and are still waiting for forensics to remove them.
Guayaquil is currently ground zero for the spread of Covid-19 in Ecuador and according to official records, 70% of the country’s cases are located in that city alone, where 2,243 of the 3,163 cases nationwide have been registered.
Guayaquil City Councilor Andres Guschmer reported on Twitter that more than 400 bodies had been removed from their homes and that almost 450 bodies were registered on the waiting list to be removed from the houses.
President Lenín Moreno also acknowledged that there may be many more deaths than are being reported officially because the reality “always exceeds the number of tests and the speed” with which they are carried out.
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