Durán (Agenzia Fides) - "The churches of Guayaquil have been closed since Saturday 14 March and the streets are deserted. Only the basic necessities are open in the morning". Fr. Saverio Turato, a fidei donum priest in Duràn, describes this scenario of war to Agenzia Fides. "If until a few weeks ago the whole world was looking at one part of the world (China, Italy, Europe ...), now instead the invisible enemy makes us turn our heads towards America, South and North. And therefore 'we are all in the same boat', quoting Pope Francis - continues the missionary. Unfortunately during this emergency no one opens doors to those who have symptoms of Covid-19. The healthcare facility is collapsing".
"We have probably reached this point because we underestimated the first signs which date back to the last week of February - explains the missionary. Some alarms came from the news, but with greater concern they looked at Italy without taking adequate security measures at home. After a fictitious silence of a couple of weeks there was a tremendous outbreak in the city of Guayaquil and only in the last hours the President of the Republic, Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés, has declared that the reality is very different from the data sent by the Commission of Emergency operations (COE). In the country, there are more than 7,500 registered cases of the infection and more than 350 confirmed deaths due to coronavirus. Numbers that are certainly higher, according to Moreno himself. In the coastal province of Guayas, over 70% of those positive in the entire country have been registered, with 4,000 cases only in the capital Guayaquil".
"In all the cemeteries in the area there are dead bodies waiting to be buried, continues Don Turato - the streets have turned into incinerators of lifeless bodies since funeral services have gone haywire due to the numerous requests. Looting has increased to the detriment of the poor people who do not have the financial means to pay or bribe (in) competent officials. Furthermore, the health system is very different from the European-Italian one. Here everything is privatized: if you have the money or a good insurance you have access to private clinics otherwise you are condemned to wait for assistance in public hospitals".
Don Saverio concludes by thinking about the future. "After this unexpected and unwanted enemy is over, we will have to prepare the earth for a new season. Let us help each other, but above all let us help those who will not be able to recover on their own". (ST/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 16/4/2020)