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Coronavirus: Nearly 800 bodies collected by police from homes in Ecuador’s virus epicentre

00:40, Tuesday, 14 April, 2020
Coronavirus: Nearly 800 bodies collected by police from homes in Ecuador’s virus epicentre

Almost 800 bodies have been collected from homes in Guayaquil by police as coronavirus continues to take its toll on the Ecuadorian city’s emergency services, hospitals and funeral parlours.

The Pacific port city has emerged as the epicentre of the virus in the country with mortuary workers particularly burdened right now.
     Videos have surfaced of bodies being abandoned in the streets with the city unable to cope with the backlog.
     “The number we have collected with the task force from people’s homes exceeded 700 people,” revealed Jorge Wated, the president of the police and military unit created three weeks ago by the government to tackle help reduce the chaos.
     Mr Wated later confirmed on Twitter that the joint task force has retrieved 771 bodies from homes and 631 more from hospitals, though the cause of death was not confirmed.

As of Monday morning, Ecuador, which has a population of 17 million, has had 7,466 cases of Covid-19 with more than 300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
     But the coastal province of Guayas has accounted for more than 70 per cent of those infected with approximately 4,000 in Guayaquil alone, according to the Ecuadorian government.

But Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno conceded the real figures will be much higher, claiming limited testing has made it almost impossible to accurately determine the total number of those infected.
     Wated said in early April: “Medical experts unfortunately... estimate that Covid-19-related deaths in these months will reach between 2,500 and 3,500, just in the province of Guayas.”

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