Packed hospitals, overwhelmed doctors, overcrowded crematoriums, piled up bodies in mortuaries and on the roadsides, and long queues outside clinics, are some of the scenes emerging from several parts of China.
People have expressed anger over funeral homes increasing the cost of cremations which forced people to carry out their own cremations in the streets.
Now, viral videos from China showed how families have resorted to cremating bodies of loved ones on roads amounting to piles of corpses in crematoriums amidst the alarming spike in Covid cases.
International health experts have predicted 2.1 million Covid deaths in the coming months.
As China grapples with the extreme Covid situation, packed hospitals, overwhelmed doctors, overcrowded crematoriums, piled up bodies in mortuaries and on the roadsides, and long queues outside clinics, are some of the scenes emerging from several parts of the country.
As per Bloomberg news, a screenshot posted to Weibo (the Chinese social media platform) showed a resident telling his neighbours in a series of texts that his father had died and after being unable to afford the cremation service, he planned to ‘find an open space’ to burn his father’s remains.
The news outlet spoke to a Beijing funeral service provider, who told them that a cremation can be arranged in three days at the cost of 68,000 yuan, while a same day service would cost 88,000.
Normally, it would cost a few thousand.’Bodies are overflowing everywhere,’ the employee told Bloomberg.
In one clip, a wooden casket is seen to the side of a pathway being burned on a small pyre. The area where the burning is taking place appears to be rural.
However, in another clip said to be in Shanghai, a group of residents can be seen standing in a car park between high-rise apartment block, around what appears to be another makeshift pyre.
Other similar clips have surfaced from the city, with two more clips being posted online showing bodies being burned in a similar way.
In both cases, residents laid the body out on bed sheets, and drew a chalk outline around the pyre.
In one, the mourners fanned the flames with tree branches in the city where – it was reported yesterday – a doctor at one of the city’s hospitals estimated 70 percent of Shanghai’s 25 million population had been infected with Covid.
Meanwhile, a screenshot posted to Weibo (the Chinese social media platform) showed a resident informing his neighbours in a text message that his father had died, and that he had been unable to afford the cremation service.
As a result, he told them, he would ‘find an open space’ to burn his father’s remains.
As crematoriums were overwhelmed, citizens were forced to burn their dead on makeshift funeral pyres, resulting in some of the most gut-wrenching images to emerge from the global pandemic.
At the time, Beijing’s media mocked countries forced to incinerate their corpses in public spaces such as town squares.
Now, China’s own citizens are faced with the same reality.
London-based health researcher Airfinity believes more than 9,000 people are dying from the disease each day in China.
This number could rise to 25,000 as people start to travel around the country for Lunar New Year celebrations.
Airfinity expects China’s cases to reach their first peak on January 13 with 3.7 million daily infections, and warned deaths in the coming months could hit 2.1 million