Chinese social media users are smuggling out videos of bodies piling up in hospital morgues this week as the Wuhan coronavirus allegedly sweeps the country, while the Chinese Communist regime is dispatching police to secure crematoriums in a losing battle to conceal the number of fatalities.
It is worth remembering that all information from China should be viewed with skepticism, including social media claims and smuggled underground videos. Even the most ardent apologists for the Chinese government can no longer deny that it routinely lies about the number of coronavirus infections and deaths.
With that in mind, India Today reported on Tuesday that Chinese citizens are uploading videos that appear to depict crisis-level overcrowding at hospitals, people who claim to be mortuary workers say they are working extra shifts to handle the dead, and overworked hospital staffers are contracting Chinese coronavirus as crowds of infected people pack into their facilities. Some Chinese medical staffers claim they have been asked to keep working even after they tested positive for the coronavirus.
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) December 20, 2022
The Chinese government is hastily throwing up “fever clinics” in big cities, essentially emergency field clinics that handle testing and medication for people with coronavirus symptoms so they do not flood into hospitals.
Australia’s News.com.au cited reports of funeral parlors “overwhelmed with bodies in recent days,” crematoriums running non-stop, and refrigerated containers rolling in to hold the corpse backlogs.
Sky News on Monday reported on a crematorium east of Beijing that appears to have been “specifically designated for [Chinese coronavirus] deaths,” which seems like an unusual designation for a country that claims it only experienced eight coronavirus deaths throughout its massive population over the past seven months.
“I don’t believe the government’s data on this…We never thought that this virus would kill people so easily.”
Read our story here https://t.co/bMBLdIZE7d
— Leo Lord-Jones (@leolordjones) December 19, 2022
As of Monday, the Chinese government had only officially confirmed two fatalities since coronavirus lockdowns were relaxed in early December, and until three weeks ago, its official tracking reports claimed infections were declining. Five more deaths were reported on Tuesday. All seven of the acknowledged fatalities occurred in Beijing.
“At another crematorium a short drive away, about 20 vans acting as hearses stood in a line, waiting in turn to enter. There was tension in the air too. Drivers told us the last few days have been busier than normal. They’d been waiting over three hours,” Sky News added.
Sky’s reporters saw police guards deployed around some crematoriums and said Chinese authorities constantly interfered with their efforts to cover the mystery deaths, including one unidentified individual who attempted to forcibly confiscate their cameras.
Sky News spoke with grieving relatives who said they know their government is lying about the number of coronavirus deaths, as they are burying their own relatives and meeting countless other families whose previously healthy loved ones died after sudden fevers.
“People are not panicking, they just do not realize that omicron can cause such serious consequences. We never thought that this virus would kill people so easily,” one mourner said.
Scientists and health experts internationally have agreed for the year that the omicron variant has been around that it is normally much less dangerous than the earlier strains, raising questions regarding what exactly is killing the dead in Chinese morgues.
Part of the problem could be China’s poor-quality vaccines and its much-discussed low rates of inoculation among vulnerable seniors, but omicron strains are not usually quite so lethal even to unvaccinated older people. China launched a major push to vaccinate more seniors in the fall and deployed new “inhalable booster” technology to persuade needle-averse citizens to get vaccine boosters. Government officials and state media claimed these initiatives were gigantic successes, as they do with every government program, but today’s high rates of infection and mortality would seem to cast doubt on those earlier boasts.
There is also the question of how so many people could abruptly contract Chinese coronavirus across the country, and in many cases die from it, so quickly after Xi Jinping’s heavy-handed “zero Covid” lockdown policies were rescinded. It is worth noting that Chinese security forces did not go gently on the protesters who marched last month – mass arrests and dubious incarcerations were reported, so it is not inconceivable that some of the bodies filling up China’s morgues were put there by the state.
Chinese health officials published new guidelines to “optimize” coronavirus policies and end district-wide lockdowns at the end of the first week in December, after several families were killed by a fire in a locked-down apartment building on November 24, prompting simmering public unrest to explode into nationwide protests.
Hundreds of concealed deaths would imply hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of omicron infections, a total that would be unlikely to accumulate across a massive country like China in only two weeks, even making allowances for its overcrowded big cities. The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) stated on December 14 that China’s massive surge in coronavirus cases began “long before any easing of the zero-Covid policy.”
“There’s a narrative that, in some way, China lifted the restrictions and all of a sudden, the disease is out of control. The disease was spreading intensively because the control measures in themselves were not stopping the disease,” said W.H.O. emergencies chief Michael Ryan.
Indeed, one reason for the huge protests in late November was public anger that Chinese coronavirus was spreading despite Xi’s crushing lockdowns. Demonstrators complained they were being made to suffer imprisonment in their homes and workplaces, but the omicron wave was still growing. W.H.O. argued that omicron is so contagious that lockdowns were even less effective than they were against the early strains.
The BBC in early December quoted some Chinese residents confused by the “loosening” of coronavirus policies, which appeared to swing quickly to the other extreme of abandoning almost all testing and quarantine procedures.
“The medical system will be overwhelmed and many elderly would be infected. It begins now,” one Chinese commentator quoted by the BBC predicted.
Health experts outside of China pointed to the extremely high contact rate in jam-packed Chinese cities, the lack of natural immunity caused by Xi’s lockdown policies, and the possibility of new mutations emerging from the huge population as possible reasons for the wildfire spread of the latest coronavirus wave.
News.com.au also pointed out that when the Chinese government relaxed its “zero-Covid” policies in early December, it told the public it was making the decision to lighten up not because they were protesting, but because Chinese scientists were confident omicron was far less dangerous than early coronavirus strains. This might have contributed to infections spreading rapidly through people who were ecstatic that “opening up” had finally arrived.
The fear is that Xi’s lockdowns never came close to wiping Chinese coronavirus out, but they did turn China’s vast population into a huge and vulnerable Petri dish, or maybe a ticking virus bomb. The most alarming predictions of infection and fatalities for China use words like “thermonuclear” to describe the outbreak.
⚠️THERMONUCLEAR BAD—Hospitals completely overwhelmed in China ever since restrictions dropped. Epidemiologist estimate >60% of 🇳 & 10% of Earth’s population likely infected over next 90 days. Deaths likely in the millions—plural. This is just the start—pic.twitter.com/VAEvF0ALg9
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) December 19, 2022
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday that China’s coronavirus surge is “of concern to the rest of the world given the size of China’s GDP, given the size of China’s economy,” and also because new mutations could spread through the outside world.
“We’ve seen that over the course of many different permutations of this virus and certainly another reason why we are so focused on helping countries around the world address Covid,” Price said.