Coffin left out in street in protest by Bolivian family bereaved by Covid-19

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Bolivia

The rising toll of Covid-19 deaths is overwhelming the Bolivian city of Cochabamba, where desperate relatives of one apparent victim of the pandemic left his coffin in the street for several hours to protest against difficulties in getting him buried.

Neighbour Remberto Arnez said the 62-year-old man had died on Sunday and his body had been in his home ever since, "but that's risky because of the possible contagion".

After a few hours, funeral workers turned up and took the coffin to a cemetery.

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Coronavirus devastates Bolivia
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Coronavirus devastates Bolivia
A coffin wrapped in plastic holding the remains of an unidentified men, who died last week, sits on a wheelbarrow in the middle of a street, placed there by his family to draw attention of the authorities to show that his remains are yet to be collected, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Saturday, July 4, 2020. Attached to the coffin is a sign that reads in Spanish: "Rest in peace. Seven days dead from COVID-19." (AP Photo/Dico Soliz)
A coffin wrapped in plastic containing the remains of an unidentified men, who died last week, sits on a wheelbarrow in the middle of a street, placed there by his family to draw attention of the authorities to show that his remains are yet to be collected, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Saturday, July 4, 2020. Funeral services in Cochabamba are overwhelmed and bodies are piling up, waiting for cremation or burial, as new coronavirus cases rapidly multiply in one of the epicenters of the pandemic in Bolivia. (AP Photo/Dico Soliz)
Family members stand in an embrace in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Saturday, July 4, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. Family members placed a coffin containing the remains of their relative, who died last week, on a wheelbarrow and situated it in the middle of a street to draw attention of the authorities to show that his remains are yet to be collected. (AP Photo/Dico Soliz)
Un ataúd envuelto en plástico que contiene los restos de un hombre no identificado y que murió la semana pasada con síntomas de COVID-19 fue colocado en una carretilla en medio de la calle por los familiares para llamar la atención de las autoridades y lograr que sea enterrado, en Cochabamba, Bolivia, el sábado 4 de julio de 2020. (Foto AP/Dico Soliz)
Funeral workers carry the coffin with the remains of a victim of COVID-19 who died a week ago and had been left on the street by their relatives, for not being able to bury him, in Cochabamba, Bolivia on July 4, 2020. (Photo by DIEGO CARTAGENA / AFP) (Photo by DIEGO CARTAGENA/AFP via Getty Images)
Funeral workers carry the coffin with the remains of a victim of COVID-19 who died a week ago and had been left on the street by their relatives, for not being able to bury him, in Cochabamba, Bolivia on July 4, 2020. (Photo by DIEGO CARTAGENA / AFP) (Photo by DIEGO CARTAGENA/AFP via Getty Images)
Funeral workers carry the coffin with the remains of a victim of COVID-19 who died a week ago and had been left on the street by their relatives, for not being able to bury him, in Cochabamba, Bolivia on July 4, 2020. (Photo by DIEGO CARTAGENA / AFP) (Photo by DIEGO CARTAGENA/AFP via Getty Images)
Dressed in full protective gear, doctors span out in a house-to-house new coronavirus testing campaign in the Villa Jaime Paz Zamora neighborhood of El Alto, Bolivia, Saturday, July 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
Dressed in full protective gear, doctors speak with residents during a house-to-house new coronavirus testing campaign, in the Villa Jaime Paz Zamora neighborhood of El Alto, Bolivia, Saturday, July 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
A tanker truck sprays disinfectant in the Villa Jaime Paz Zamora neighborhood of El Alto, Bolivia, Saturday, July 4, 2020, as measure to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
Dressed in full protective gear, doctors prepare for a house-to-house new coronavirus testing campaign, in the Villa Jaime Paz Zamora neighborhood of El Alto, Bolivia, Saturday, July 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
A coffin wrapped in plastic holding the remains of an unidentified men, who died last week, sits on a wheelbarrow in the middle of a street, placed there by his family to draw attention of the authorities to show that his remains are yet to be collected, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Saturday, July 4, 2020. Attached to the coffin is a sign that reads in Spanish: "Rest in peace. Seven days dead from COVID-19." (AP Photo/Dico Soliz)
A coffin holding the remains of Cristobal Huanca Mendoza is guided by workers through a cemetery to a common grave area, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Thursday, July 2, 2020. The coffin of Mendoza, who died Sunday in Cochabamba, is wrapped in plastic as is common by funeral homes when working with COVID-19 victims or suspected victims of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Dico Soliz)
Health workers take part in a protest asking that more doctors be hired and demanding better working conditions amid the new coronavirus pandemic, outside the Del Norte Hospital in El Alto, Bolivia, Thursday, July 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
A coffin holding the remains of Cristobal Huanca Mendoza is guided by workers through a cemetery to a common grave area, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Thursday, July 2, 2020. The coffin of Mendoza, who died Sunday in Cochabamba, is wrapped in plastic as is common by funeral homes when working with COVID-19 victims or suspected victims of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Dico Soliz)
Un ataúd envuelto en plástico que contiene los restos de Cristóbal Huanca Mendoza yace afuera de un cementerio durante un velorio improvisado por sus amigos en la calle mientras esperan para enterrarlo en una fosa común en Cochabamba, Bolivia, el miércoles 1 de julio de 2020. Los servicios funerarios de Cochabamba están al borde del colapso con cadáveres que se acumulan para ser incinerados o enterrados en medio de un aumento en los casos del nuevo coronavirus. (AP Foto/Dico Soliz)
A coffin wrapped in plastic holding the remains of Cristobal Huanca Mendoza lays outside a cemetery during an improvised wake by friends as they wait for permission to enter and bury him in a common grave in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The coffin of Mendoza, who died Sunday in Cochabamba, is wrapped in plastic as is common by funeral homes when working with COVID-19 victims or suspected victims of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Dico Soliz)
El propietario y acróbata del circo Jumbo, Joel Condori, mira a través de su visor el progreso de su trabajo mientras suelda una pieza en una estructura de acero mientras el circo entra en su cuarto mes cerrado debido al COVID-19 en El Alto, Bolivia, el viernes 26 de junio. (AP Foto/Juan Karita)
A sex worker wearing protective gear against the spread of the new coronavirus sits on a bed during a demonstration of the safety precautions they will take at their jobs in El Alto, Bolivia, Monday, June 29, 2020. Without kisses, with masks and with a transparent protective suit over their clothes, a group of Bolivian sex workers is trying to convince the authorities to allow them to return to their activities that were suspended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although prostitution is not totally legal in Bolivia, local city governments regulate its practice within their jurisdictions. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
A homeless man sleeps at San Francisco square amid a government ordered lockdown to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, in La Paz, Bolivia, Thursday, June 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
A doctor draws blood from a police officer to test for the new coronavirus in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Police officers in La Paz are being tested for COVID-19, part of precautionary measures to slow the spread of the virus. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
Un trabajador de la ciudad con equipo de protección completo en medio de la nueva pandemia de coronavirus desinfecta el mercado de Haití en La Paz, Bolivia, el martes 23 de junio de 2020. (AP Foto/Juan Karita)
A city worker in full protective gear amid the new coronavirus pandemic disinfects the sidewalk outside the Haiti market in La Paz, Bolivia, Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Health authorities say that a butcher at the marker died several weeks ago of COVID related symptoms, prompting its closure. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
A city employee wearing a face mask amid the spread of the new coronavirus takes a selfie with the first rays of sunlight during a new year's ritual at the Mirador Jach'a Apacheta de Munaypata, in La Paz, Bolivia, early Sunday, June 21, 2020. Aymara indigenous communities are celebrating the Andean new year 5,528. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
A sex worker wears a mask and a rain coat amid the new coronavirus pandemic during a protest asking the government to lift restrictions on their work, in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
Sex workers wear masks and latex gloves amid the new coronavirus pandemic, during a protest asking the government to lift restrictions on their work, in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
A woman wears protective gear as a precaution amid the spread of the new coronavirus as she rests before going to work in government identification office in La Paz, Bolivia, Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
A city worker disinfects the reception area of a government identification office in an attempt to contain the spread of the new coronavirus in La Paz, Bolivia, Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
Dr. Paul Camacho holds up a bag of plasma donated by COVID-19 survivor Sandra Rodrigo at the Hemocentro blood bank in La Paz, Bolivia, Friday, June 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
A child waves a handkerchief as procession drives past marking Corpus Christi, which commemorates the biblical transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, amid the new coronavirus pandemic in La Paz, Bolivia, Thursday, June 11, 2020. Due to the pandemic the religious holiday was arranged to encourage faithful to stay home offering an online Mass and the procession to be escorted by members of the military. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
EL ALTO, BOLIVIA - JULY 04: Health personnel wearing PPE perform a questionnaire to a woman as they carry out a screening to detect people with COVID-19 symptoms at district 3 of the Urbanization Jaime Paz Zamora on July 4, 2020 in El Alto, Bolivia. According to the World Health Organization, Bolivia has over 36,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and more than 1300 deaths. (Photo by Javier Mamani/Getty Images)
Health workers disinfect a street during a door-to-door visit to check for possible cases of COVID-19, within the coronavirus pandemic, on July 4, 2020, in El Alto, Bolivia. (Photo by AIZAR RALDES / AFP) (Photo by AIZAR RALDES/AFP via Getty Images)
Health workers check the temperature of a resident during a door-to-door visit to check for possible cases of COVID-19, within the coronavirus pandemic, on July 4, 2020, in El Alto, Bolivia. (Photo by AIZAR RALDES / AFP) (Photo by AIZAR RALDES/AFP via Getty Images)
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Police Colonel Ivan Rojas told a news conference that the city is collecting "about 17 bodies a day.

"This is collapsing the police personnel and funeral workers" in the city of some 630,000 people.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

"The crematorium oven is small, that that is where the bodies are collecting," said national Labour Minister Oscar Mercado, who told reporters that officials were preparing 250 new burial plots in the city's main cemetery.

The Andean nation has reported 36,818 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,320 deaths.

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