by Alan Macleod
MintPress News | April 13, 2020
If you are using one of the many coronavirus incidence trackers, the Pacific country of Ecuador does not seem to be particularly badly affected by COVID-19. Officially, the country has less than 7,500 cases and 333 deaths. But everybody knows this number is nonsense, including President Lenín Moreno, who freely admitted that authorities were collecting over 100 dead bodies a day from Guayaquil city alone, the epicenter of the pandemic tormenting his country.
Ecuador’s limited state has essentially collapsed under the strain of COVID-19, with dozens of videos circulating showing dead bodies left in the streets, with no one to collect them. The country has already run out of coffins, so corpses are buried in cardboard boxes or simply left in trucking containers. A recent credible estimate, based on data gleaned from cemeteries and funeral homes, puts Guayaquil’s death toll at 7,600 – almost that of New York, a city four times its size. Thus, more people have died from the virus in the last week in Guayaquil than China’s cumulative total since November. Ecuador’s minister of health resigned last month, condemning the government’s inaction.