The dishonest Chinese government claims fewer than two dozen people have died nationwide during the massive coronavirus outbreak sweeping the country, but the true number is believed to be in the thousands and could be heading into the millions.
Funeral parlors and crematoriums are overwhelmed by the dead, so some families are resorting to amateur cremations in the streets.
The New York Post (NYP) on Wednesday described unverified images circulating on social media of Chinese burning their loved ones in parking lots and roadside pyres as “horrifying”:
I’ve seen quite a few similar videos, but haven’t posted any until now. Given what we learned from other sources about how difficult & expensive to cremate a body in a #crematorium in #CCPChina, I’m not surprised if someone in the countryside chose to do this.#ChinaCovidDeaths pic.twitter.com/hxhGdhPriS
— Inconvenient Truths by Jennifer Zeng 曾錚真言 (@jenniferzeng97) January 3, 2023
#CHINA: The #COVID outbreak is reportedly forcing people to burn the bodies of their families members on the streets as a result of emergency services and crematoriums’ inability to accommodate the mass numbers of deceased. Heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/Q5TYcG5VJG
— Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) January 3, 2023
A woman in Shanghai explained her decision to cremate her own father on social media and dared the authorities to stop her.
“I’ve tried multiple paths to cremate my father but none have worked. The funeral services hotline told me that all cremation slots are full until after the new year. Since national law doesn’t allow patients who die of infectious diseases to be stored at home, I shall find an empty patch in our neighborhood to cremate my father. If you have problems with this, please call the police,” she wrote.
The Shanghai resident’s neighbors reportedly did call the police and local officials prevented her from carrying out her cremation plans.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on Monday that instead of handling cremation themselves, some Chinese families are dropping their loved ones off at mortuaries and hoping for the best because they are unable to make proper appointments with the morticians.
The capital city of Beijing has countered this practice by forbidding the private transportation of bodies to funeral homes; instead, families must contact the funeral parlor and request a pickup, which might not happen for several days.
“You have to line up at the crematoriums to get your number, and there are a lot of people in queues there at 4.30 a.m. I called the crematorium the next day and they said I wouldn’t even be able to get a number for two days; that it had been suspended,” a Shanghai businesswoman told RFA.
Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that funeral homes are attempting to clear up this backlog by limiting mourners to no more than ten minutes of grieving.
Fox News on Friday described big-city Chinese hospitals stacking patients in hallways, asking them to bring their own beds, and treating them in the streets outside the hospitals.
Greece, Germany, and Sweden announced restrictions on Chinese travelers on Thursday, joining the list of countries to require recent negative coronavirus tests from Chinese visitors. China’s restrictions on outbound travelers are due to be lifted on Sunday, and the heavy Lunar New Year travel season is only a few weeks away.
“The W.H.O. [World Health Organization] has warned that the holiday, which starts on Jan. 21 and usually brings the biggest human migration on the planet as people head home from cities to visit families in small towns and villages, could spark another infection wave in the absence of higher vaccination rates and other precautions,” Reuters noted on Thursday.
Few of the nations which have announced restrictions on Chinese travelers are Asian. Of that region, only Malaysia and Thailand have announced underwhelming plans to test the wastewater from airplanes to see if the passengers were infected. Chinese tourism is a huge industry across Asia, especially during Lunar New Year.
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