Ecuador's vice president Otto Sonnenholzner has apologized after scores of bodies were left on the streets of Guayaquil as the coronavirus ravages the horror-struck port city.
Residents had published videos on social media showing abandoned bodies in the streets in the Latin American city worst hit by the pandemic.
Authorities collected at least 150 corpses from streets and homes earlier this week, but did not confirm how many of the dead were victims of the outbreak.
"We have seen images that should never have happened and as your public servant, I apologize," said Sonnenholzer, who is heading the country's virus response, in a statement broadcast by local media on Saturday.
Ecuador had recorded nearly 3,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Sunday, including 172 deaths.
The government has imposed a state of emergency and introduced a nightly curfew in an effort to contain the spread of the disease.