QUITO (AP) – Quito hospitals were saturated with coronavirus patients on Monday and cremation services registered a long wait after the relaxation of the quarantine triggered COVID-19 infections in the Ecuadorian capital.
The coordinator of the Quito Funeral Federation, Sebastián Barona, told The Associated Press that “we have a line of 20 to 30 bodies waiting for the cremations to take place. The ideal in these cases is that the deceased do not wait beyond 24 hours. ”
He added that the city has a cremation capacity of 50 bodies per day but there is a row of bodies that will have to wait at least 48 hours “assuming that we will not receive any more bodies.”
Since the harsh restriction measures and the curfew were gradually relaxed in early June and the citizens began to go out on the street with relative freedom, a notable increase in the cases of COVID-19 in Quito, where there have been registered 8,132 infections and 504 deaths, according to reports from the Ministry of Health.
Civil Registry data revealed that in June 2019 the number of deceased was 1,105, a figure that represents the average number of deaths in the capital, while in the same month of this year it climbed to 1,803.
Meanwhile, in recent days the seriously ill with COVID-19 have been forced to move through several public and private hospitals in Quito before receiving specialized care and accessing mechanical ventilators, of which there are about 250 throughout the city.
Against this background, the national and capital authorities have called on the population to comply with preventive measures such as permanently wearing a mask, frequently washing their hands, avoiding places of concentration of people and keeping a social distance of at least two meters.
Until Monday Ecuador has reported a total of 61,958 infections and 4,781 deaths from the new coronavirus.