A joint military and police task force collected the bodies over the past three days, government spokesman Jorge Wated told AFP on Wednesday. He also issued a statement on state-run television outlets.
Residents in the city posted videos of bodies lining the streets. Some left messages to officials to take them away after they died in their homes.
Wated then apologized in a message broadcast on television, saying that morgue workers were overwhelmed.
“We acknowledge any errors and apologize to those who had to wait days for their loved ones to be taken away,” Wated said.
Guayaquil resident Stalin Briones, who has posted videos and photos of bodies on Twitter, and others have criticized the government’s response amid the pandemic.
“All of this is a consequence of the bad direction that authorities took and not taking precautions nor being prepared for this despite knowing what was going on in Europe,” he told CBS News. “Adding the fact that people didn’t worry—because more so than the government, the blame falls more so on people that didn’t collaborate and took this as a regular cold.”
According to the news agency, Wated said that Guayas Province could experience between 2,500 and 3,500 Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus deaths.
“The medical experts unfortunately estimate that deaths from COVID in these months will reach between 2,500 and 3,500 … in the province of Guayas alone, and we are preparing for that,” he said.
The COVID-19 outbreak in Ecuador has sickened at least 3,000 people in the South American country, with the epicenter occurring in Guayaquil, according to Johns Hopkins’ latest map.