A massive jump in the number of COVID19-related deaths in Ecuador has been reported in the Guayas province. The province is home to Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city.

In the last six weeks, nearly 11,000 people have lost their lives to coronavirus pandemic in the Guayas province alone. The new data, revealed on April 16, indicate that the number of casualties due to COVID-19 infections could be much higher than previously reported.

Ecuador is so far one of the hardest-hit countries in Latin America by the coronavirus pandemic. As per the official numbers, coronavirus has killed about 421 people in Ecuador. However, interior minister María Paula Romo believes that the numbers could be much higher.

The exploding number of cases in Guayaquil has overwhelmed the medical services as well as mortuaries. Due to a lack of resources and space, people can do nothing but live alongside the bodies of their family members or to leave the corpses out in the streets.

“We’ve wanted to be open about the statistics for deaths to show a more complete panorama,” Romo said. She further added that only full statistics can reveal “why the funeral services and cemeteries simply could not cope in recent days in Guayaquil and Guayas.”

Guayaquil alone has reported more than 70 percent of the countries’ total coronavirus cases confirmed so far. While families struggle to search for the dead as the health system collapses, the authorities are finding it challenging to bury the coronavirus victims.

Darwin Castillo’s father died in Guayaquil due to coronavirus infection. However, he was handed over the wrong body when he went to collect his father’s remains for burial.

31-year-old Castillo, who works at a factory, has still not been able to find his father’s remains and it has been over two weeks.

"I don't blame the hospital or the morgue. There were people dying at the entrance," he told a news agency. "I would like my dad to appear so I can give him a Christian burial, to give a bouquet of roses to my old man."

The increasing course of the pandemic in Equador has raised an alarm in other Latin American countries. Owing to health inequality and poor health facilities, there is a lot to be done for people to be prepared for what is coming.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Laboratory Test, Cure, Vaccine
Andressa Parreiras, Biomedic, and Larissa Vuitika, biologist, work in a laboratory during the extraction of the virus genetic material on March 24, 2020 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The Ministry of Health convened The Technological Vaccine Center of the Federal University of Minas Gerais laboratory to conduct research on the coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to diagnose, test and develop a vaccine. According to the Ministry of Health, as of Tuesday, March 24, Brazil has 1.891 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and at least 34 recorded deceases. Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

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