When Flavio Ramos was wheeled into the hospital room, he was gasping for air and slipping in and out of consciousness. So it was his son, Arturo, who first noticed the bodies.

Two corpses laid unattended on the tile floor. By the next morning, the body count in the room rose to three. Flavio Ramos was dead.
More than a month later, his family still hasn’t buried Flavio Ramos. They couldn’t if they tried. Because soon after his death, Arturo Ramos says hospital authorities lost the body.
“We need a place to say, on Sunday let’s go to put flowers on the tomb of my father,” his heartbroken son said. “There is nothing, there is nothing you can do.”
Flavio Ramos, 55, is yet another Covid-19 victim in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the site of one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks.
His death and disappearance illustrate how the healthcare system in Ecuador’s second-largest city, roughly the size of Chicago, collapsed within a matter of weeks after the outbreak exploded in March.Bodies in hospitals
Guayaquil was woefully unprepared to confront the coronavirus.
Last month, the port city of nearly three million gained global notoriety when videos surfaced showing dead bodies left in the city’s streets after morgues and funeral homes were overwhelmed. Many families made the choice to put loved ones outdoors for fear of infection and because the smells were unbearable.Three doctors in Guayaquil, each working at different hospitals, described similar scenarios during the months of March and April to CNN: Hospitals completely overwhelmed by a pandemic that descended rapidly on an unprepared healthcare system, leaving no chance to truly help people, let alone provide patients with basic levels of care. All spoke to CNN anonymously for fear of losing their jobs.
“People were terrified and scared,” said one doctor about some of the worst days. “Really sick people were coming to the hospital, dying. You tended to one, did what you could do, then that person dies, and you move to the next, and that person dies, and on and on like that.”
“At one point there were dozens of bodies between the hospital rooms and morgue that were waiting to be taken away,” said the doctor. “There were no body bags left.”
The rate of death far outpaced the capacity of city morgues and funeral homes. A second doctor told CNN that he usually saw three or four dead bodies lying on the floor each day at the hospital. “We had nowhere else to put them,” he said.
In a video obtained by CNN, a family is seen pulling the body of a loved one from their car and laying it in a hospital parking lot, unsure what to do next.
No one would accept him
In January, Flavio Ramos celebrated his birthday, surrounded by family and friends.
During the last week of March, he started feeling sick. On the 31st, his breathing became so labored that 24-year-old Arturo Ramos had to take action.
He drove his father to the nearest hospital, expecting the gravely ill engineer to be quickly admitted and get the help he desperately needed. But when he arrived, hospital staff told him the facility was already full.
“The doctors said, ‘There are no beds for patients,’ and that was it,” Ramos told CNN by video call from his home in Guayaquil. “If you stayed at the door they said they would call security to kick you out.”