The Pacific port city has emerged as the epicentre of the virus in the country with mortuary workers particularly burdened right now.
Videos have surfaced of bodies being abandoned in the streets with the city unable to cope with the backlog.
“The number we have collected with the task force from people’s homes exceeded 700 people,” revealed Jorge Wated, the president of the police and military unit created three weeks ago by the government to tackle help reduce the chaos.
Mr Wated later confirmed on Twitter that the joint task force has retrieved 771 bodies from homes and 631 more from hospitals, though the cause of death was not confirmed.
But the coastal province of Guayas has accounted for more than 70 per cent of those infected with approximately 4,000 in Guayaquil alone, according to the Ecuadorian government.
But Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno conceded the real figures will be much higher, claiming limited testing has made it almost impossible to accurately determine the total number of those infected.
Wated said in early April: “Medical experts unfortunately... estimate that Covid-19-related deaths in these months will reach between 2,500 and 3,500, just in the province of Guayas.”
With the escalating situation causing the mortuary system to collapse, the government has started to distribute coffins made of cardboard.
While Wated took to Twitter to thank Xavier Salem, the vice president of Barcelona, one of the city’s major football clubs, after hundreds of wooden coffins were donated.
The severity of the situation has seen the country’s vice president Otto Sonnenholzner forced to apologise.
“This week Ecuaor has suffered a strong deterioration of its international image,” Sonnenholzner said. “And we have seen images that should never have happened and therefore, as your public servant, I apologise.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies