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Bodies are dumped in the streets in Ecuadorian city as officials struggle to cope with rising coronavirus deaths and grieving families are forced to use cardboard boxes for coffins

  • At least 150 rotting corpses left on street or in homes of relatives in Guayaquil
  • Ecuador's official death toll hit 172 with 3,500 cases but many fear it is higher
  • Residents were forced to use cardboard boxes as coffins due to high demand
Bodies are being left to rot on the side of the road as officials struggle to cope with coronavirus deaths in an Ecuadorian city.
At least 150 corpses were left on the street or kept in the homes of grieving relatives in Guayaquil as the deadly bug ravages the horror-struck port city. 
The bodies were placed on the roadside in the desperate hope that authorities would be able to take them away but removals take up to three days due to a backlog.
Bodies are being left to rot on the side of road as officials struggle to cope with coronavirus deaths in an Ecuadorian city. Pictured: Two men look at a body said to be laying oustide a clinic for three days in Guayaquil
Bodies are being left to rot on the side of road as officials struggle to cope with coronavirus deaths in an Ecuadorian city. Pictured: Two men look at a body said to be laying oustide a clinic for three days in GuayaquilAt least 150 rotting corpses were left on the street or kept in the homes of grieving relatives in Guayaquil as the deadly bug ravages the horror-struck port city. Pictured: A corpse on the pavement
At least 150 rotting corpses were left on the street or kept in the homes of grieving relatives in Guayaquil as the deadly bug ravages the horror-struck port city. Pictured: A corpse on the pavementAuthorities collected at least 150 of the corpses earlier this week (one pictured), but did not confirm how many of the dead were victims of the outbreak
Authorities collected at least 150 of the corpses earlier this week (one pictured), but did not confirm how many of the dead were victims of the outbreak
Residents were even forced to use cardboard boxes as coffins as Ecuador's official death toll hit 172 with at least 3,500 confirmed cases.
Ecuador's vice president Otto Sonnenholzner apologised after residents posted images and videos of the bodies onto social media. 
Authorities collected at least 150 of the corpses earlier this week, but did not confirm how many of the dead were victims of the outbreak.Residents were even forced to use cardboard boxes as coffins as Ecuador's official death toll hit 172 with at least 3,500 confirmed cases
Residents were even forced to use cardboard boxes as coffins as Ecuador's official death toll hit 172 with at least 3,500 confirmed cases
Authorities received a donation of pressed cardboard-box caskets to be used in local funerals
The cardboard coffins - which will be used in the city's two local cemeteries - were today delivered
Ecuador's vice president Otto Sonnenholzner apologised after residents posted images and videos of the bodies onto social media. Pictured: Health workers in protective gear transport a dead body outside a hospital
Coffins wrapped in plastic were seen on the pavement as relatives lined up for a funeral outside a cemetary
Coffins wrapped in plastic were seen on the pavement as relatives lined up for a funeral outside a cemetary
Mr Sonnenholzer, who is heading the country's virus response, said in a statement broadcast by local media on Saturday: 'We have seen images that should never have happened and as your public servant, I apologise.' 
Authorities received a donation of 1,000 pressed cardboard-box caskets from local producers and delivered them for use in two local cemeteries.
A city hall spokesman said: 'It's so they can meet demand. There are either no coffins in the city or they are extremely expensive.'A private van carrying a casket arrives to the Jardines de Esperanza Cemetery of Guayaquil
A body is transported on a cart by medics outside Teodoro Maldonado Carbo Hospital
Businessman Santiago Olivares, who owns a chain of funeral homes, said his company was unable to keep up with demand.
He said: 'I sold the 40 that I had at the downtown branch, and 40 others from my headquarters. I had to order 10 more at the weekend and they've run out.'
Mr Olivares said a 15-hour curfew in the city was contributing to the shortage of basic raw materials for coffin makers like wood and metal. A woman cries after learning about the death of a relative at Los Ceibos Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador
A woman cries after learning about the death of a relative at Los Ceibos Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador
The Guayaquil mayor's office wrote on Twitter: 'The cardboard coffins 'will be a great help in providing a dignified burial for people who died during this health emergency.'
Ecuador reported 3,646 cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, including 180 deaths, the majority of them occurring in Guayaquil and its surrounding province of Guayas. 
The government has imposed a state of emergency and introduced a nightly curfew in an effort to contain the spread of the disease. 

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