Friday 18 June 2021

The Church’s response to Covid-19 in Ecuador

A Comboni missionary in Ecuador describes how the coronavirus emergency is overwhelming society in Guayaquil. The dead accumulate in the streets, people are hungry, and it is impossible to maintain quarantine in the poorest areas.

From Vatican News. Father José Barranco is a Comboni missionary based in Ecuador, the Latin American nation most affected by the coronavirus. Speaking to Vatican News, he describes the situation in Guayaquil, a port city of 2.3 million inhabitants, and home to almost half of the 2,700 positive cases of Covid-19 in the country.

A body lies outside a clinic in Guayaquil, Ecuador (AFP)

The situation throughout Ecuador is very difficult, he says, “but in Guayaquil it is catastrophic”.
Double emergency

- Advertisement -

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a double health emergency in Ecuador: firstly, because the health system has collapsed, and secondly because the bodies of the dead are accumulating in houses and streets, waiting to be taken to the cemetery.

Ecuador’s President, Lenin Moreno, has confirmed that around 150 bodies are collected daily from homes and public spaces. But this is not enough. Morgues are full and many funeral homes refuse to provide mortuary services for fear of contagion.
Not enough

The health system can’t cope because medical equipment and staff are lacking. Doctors and nurses are working up to 16 hours a day, doing double shifts.

The extent of the epidemic is partly due to the population not adhering to government instructions to stay at home, says Fr Barranco. But in the vast poverty-stricken areas of Guayaquil it is difficult to impose quarantine. A house is often just one room, he says, “where three, four or even five people live together, and there is little food. What are they supposed to do?”.

- Advertisement -

Everyone is trying to respond as best they can, says Fr Barranco. But whatever the government, the Church, or medical personnel try to do in this situation, “is not enough”.
The Church’s response

Fr Barranco says the Catholic Church is offering both physical and spiritual support to those in need. He gives the example of a hospital run by the Guayaquil Archdiocese. The structure does not have the capacity to assist Covid-19 sufferers, but it does admit patients with other pathologies.

This helps alleviate some of the pressure from the public health care system. The same hospital is also providing medical advice through a telephone service.
Faith and hope

Local Catholic parishes are working with the government on its “Together we feed more people” program. They act as collection and distribution points for food rations which are vital at this time, as many people are suffering from hunger.

Fr Barranco is also Director of the National Catholic Radio in the capital city of Quito. He says these same parishes are providing liturgies and moments of prayer through the media. All of these gestures, he concludes, aim to “sow faith and hope”.

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Q24N
Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

Ecuador’s Sangay volcano erupts, spews ash 8 kilometers

Q24N (DW) Ecuador's Sangay volcano erupted on Thursday, spewing clouds of...

South America ignores Europe and reopens as virus peak nears

(AP) — South American countries on Monday began easing COVID-19 restrictions...

MOST READ

American woman found lifeless in hotel bathroom in Sabana

QCOSTARICA - A sad discovery occurred this Thursday morning in a hotel located in La Sabana, in San José, the lifeless body of a...

Fifth tropical wave precipitation will be heavier in the north of the country

QCOSTARICA - For this Wednesday, the arrival of the fifth tropical wave of the season is expected, thus reinforcing the rainy activity mainly to...

Tourism sector depends on political will for recovery

QCOSTARICA - The future of tourism operators in Costa Rica depends on the political will to approve a package of bills that favors the...

Despite investigation, construction of road works by H. Solís will continue

QCOSTARICA - Five major road works under the responsibility of the H. Solís company will continue in development despite investigations for alleged corruption involving...

“Caso Cochinilla”: Name arose when comparing parasite with hidden corruption

QCOSTARICA - On Monday, the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) moved to the raid, seize and arrest of their investigation into corruption of public...

College of Physicians negotiates donation of a million and a half vaccines against covid-19

QCOSTARICA - This week there could be very good news for the country in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic if the College of...

OIJ investigation into road works corruption leads to inquiries in Panama

QCOSTARICA - The prestige of the company of some of the richest men in Costa Rica hangs by a thread. For many, the MECO...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 12, “ODDS”

Today, Saturday, June 12, only ODDS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 17: 7 & 8 CANNOT circulate

Today, Thursday, June 17, vehicles with plates ending 7 & 8 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.