Soaring numbers of COVID-19 deaths in Ecuador’s second city Guayaquil have led to a shortage of coffins, forcing locals to resort to using cardboard boxes, city authorities said Sunday.
Authorities in the Pacific port city said they had received a donation of 1,000 pressed cardboard caskets from local producers, and delivered them for use in two local cemeteries.
“It’s so they can meet demand,” a city hall spokesman told AFP. “There are either no coffins in the city or they are extremely expensive.”
Businessman Santiago Olivares, who owns a chain of funeral homes, said his company was unable to keep up with demand.
“I sold the 40 that I had at the downtown branch, and 40 others from my headquarters. I had to order 10 more at the weekend and they’ve run out,” Olivares told AFP.
The cheapest coffins currently cost around $400.