Soaring numbers of COVID-19 deaths in Ecuador's city Guayaquil have led to a shortage of coffins, forcing locals to start using cardboard boxes.

“The cardboard coffins will be a great help in providing a dignified burial for people who died during this health emergency," the Guayaquil mayor's office tweeted.

Photos with bodies on Ecuador streets, coffins and boxes for COVID-19 victims.

Authorities in the Pacific port city said they had received a donation of 1,000 pressed cardboard caskets from local producers and delivered them for use in two local cemeteries.

There are either no coffins in the city or they are extremely expensive. The cheapest coffins currently cost around $400.

Last week, residents posted videos on social media showing abandoned bodies in the streets in the Latin American city worst hit by the pandemic.

The government called in troops to pick up 150 corpses from streets and homes earlier this week after mortuary workers in the city were unable to keep up with a backlog of removals.