Coronavirus Coverage

GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR - APRIL 08: Workers wear suits, masks and gloves outside Jardines de la Esperanza cemetery on April 8, 2020 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. According to official information provided by WHO, Ecuador has over 4,000 confirmed cases and 242 deaths of COVID-19, making it one of the worst-hit countries per capita in the region. Local authorities said that figures are likely to be much higher as most people are not being tested or diagnosed. Dead bodies remain the streets as morgues and hospitals are overcrowded. The port city of Guayaquil and its surroundings, with 4 million inhabitants, has two thirds of the cases of COVID-19 of the country.

A woman is Ecuador was mixed up with other patients and her family was told she had died from COVID-19.

The hospital mixed up the patients and declared Alba Maruri dead.  Maruri was in fact still alive and in a coma.

The woman, age 74, was thought to have died on March 27.  Maruri’s nephew was brought into the morgue and told the hospital he did believe the body was that of his aunt’s.

“I was afraid to see her face,” he told AFP. “I was a meter and a half away. She had the same hair, the same skin tone.”

The body was cremated and the family received the ashes.

“It’s a miracle,” Maruri’s sister, Aura told AFP. “For nearly a month, we thought she was dead.”

Maruri’s family is now trying to figure out whose ashes they have and if they can be reimbursed for the cost of the cremation.

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