Dead bodies kept in homes or dumped on roadsides as authorities and hospitals are overwhelmed by Covid-19 in Andean nation’s second city
Democratic leaders given poll boost for handling of crisis
by Tom Phillips and Blanca Moncada
3 Apr. 2020
It has been three days since Reynaldo Barrezueta passed away at his home in Ecuador’s biggest city – and still his body lies in a coffin on the sitting room floor.
“The authorities are just leaving us to die,” said his son, Eduardo Javier Barrezueta Chávez, who has spent the last 72 hours pleading with authorities remove his father’s corpse – so far to no avail.
Barrezueta is not alone. In recent days the coronavirus has swept into Guayaquil with deadly force, overwhelming local authorities, funeral homes and hospitals and leaving families such as his facing unthinkable horrors.
Photographs and video footage emerging from this crisis-stricken coastal city look like images from the aftermath of a natural disaster: bodies wrapped in sheets and dumped on the roadside or outside houses; desperate families begging for help after being forced to keep their loved-ones corpses at home for days in temperatures of more than 30C.
“They’re leaving them in the streets, on the pavements, abandoned at home,” tweeted the city’s mayor, Cynthia Viteri, herself now in quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19. “What is going on in Guayaquil?”
Read more at www.theguardian.com