Residents in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated, have been forced to queue up for hours this week to organize proper burials for their loved ones who died as a result of the pandemic.
After 63 days of lockdown, the city’s risk level was recently reduced to “medium,” meaning families are now allowed to collect the urns of their loved ones and organize a proper burial after being forced to skip the funeral service. The Epoch Times reports that relatives of the deceased have had to queue for hours merely to collect the ashes from the various funeral homes. Photos outside the homes showing long lines of people were shared tens of thousands of times across Chinese social media, although they were eventually deleted by the country’s internet censors.
One netizen, named Mr. Lui, explained the situation outside the funeral homes and the lack of respect shown to the deceased:
The relatives were anxious. Most people are still restricted from going out. You have to pick up the ashes, in accordance with the community’s request. The community centers arranged cars to pick you up. There is also a risk of infection in the car. Once the funeral homes hand you the ashes, their job is done and they don’t care for anything else. It is very likely that there were too many urns there and no space to store them. So, it was necessary to inform the families to take them away.
The scenes outside funeral homes have increased skepticism about the reported death toll, which many believe has been understated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), an organization infamous for industrial-scale dissemination of lies and misinformation. Another Wuhan citizen, named Mr. Zhang, laid out his theory online:
The community center orders you to get the ashes. Afterward, you have to prepare everything else. Just exactly how many Wuhan residents have died from the virus if the line at the cemetery is so long? China’s official media reported over 3,000 coronavirus deaths. I think the real figure is at least ten times the official figure, and even 100 times is not impossible.
According to official data as of Thursday afternoon, at least 81,589 had contracted the virus nationwide, leading to 3,318 deaths. This means that China, with its population of 1.386 billion, has fewer cases than Germany, Spain, Italy, and the United States.
China insists that life in Wuhan is now returning to normal following the reported slowing of infection rates, with all lockdown restrictions scheduled to be lifted on April 8th. At the peak of the quarantine, around 56 million people in the city and the surrounding Hubei province were forced to self-isolate while all travel was suspended.
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