China’s overburdened funeral home gives families 10 minutes to grieve

  • Overcrowded funeral homes in China are grappling with a slew of deaths as the country breaks from its no-spread coronavirus stance.
  • One facility is so busy that it gives families only 5-10 minutes to grieve, in bloomberg.
  • The demand for funeral services is so high that people are lining up outside funeral homes to sell their venues.

As reopened China battles a tsunami of new COVID infections, funeral parlors are the latest industry under siege.

So many people die in Shanghai that the funeral home — which handles bodies five times more than usual a day — gives families only five to 10 minutes to grieve for the dead in a clumsy fashion, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

The Longhua Funeral Home website described the bodies on stretchers, allowing mourners to pay their respects briefly before being ushered away, the outlet wrote.

“The whole system is now paralyzed,” one Longhua employee told Bloomberg.

People on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, posted videos of long lines outside the funeral home, One user said that at least thirty people had already started waiting at 2 a.m. on December 27.. Insider has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of these videos.

The demand for funeral services is so high that people have started queuing outside the crematoria to sell their places at high prices.

At Baoxing Funeral Parlor, another funeral home in Shanghai, local police on December 29 arrested 20 speculators who were queuing up “without the need for funeral services” and death certificates, The city’s public security bureau said on Dec. 30.

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Even in Beijing, public services were under colossal stress for weeks. Health authorities said on December 11 that emergency services were overwhelmed with more than 30,000 calls a day, According to the Beijing Daily.

Chen Zhi, chief physician at the Beijing Emergency Medical Center, appealed to residents not to call medical hotlines unless they were in critical condition. “Currently, the resources to respond to emergency calls and dispatch ambulances are very limited,” he told the Beijing Daily.

A funeral worker puts a body into a cart to be cremated at a crematorium in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing on December 22, 2022.

A funeral worker puts a body into a cart to be cremated at a crematorium in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing on December 22, 2022.

NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images

The death toll from COVID-19 in China remains a mystery

The true number of deaths in China after its rapid reopening is still unknown. The central government Only deaths due to pneumonia or respiratory failure are counted in the official COVID death toll, Except for patients with other pre-existing diseases.

so far, official reports Of the country’s National Health Commission, it has admitted only six new coronavirus deaths since December 6 – when President Xi Jinping’s administration announced a sudden reversal of the coronavirus policy.

The official death toll for the entire pandemic — starting in 2019 — was 5,241 deaths on December 24, 2022. When the number was last updated. On the birthday of Christthe commission announced that it would no longer provide daily updates on coronavirus numbers amid a flood of new cases.

Data companies elsewhere in the world believe the death toll in China could reach the millions within several months.

UK-based health data company Airfinity It is estimated that 9,000 people die from COVID every day in China, and the total death toll is expected to reach 1.7 million from the start of reopening through April.

Another analysis firm, Auckland-based Wigram Capital Advisors, Be warned that 1 million chinese Will die from COVID over the winter.

Meanwhile, officials at China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in internal discussions that 250 million people contracted COVID in the first 20 days of December. The Financial Times reported, Quoting two people familiar with the matter. If true, these figures contradict the government The latest official count is 348,000 infections.

An expected rise in infections among a population relatively exposed to the coronavirus in China has the rest of the world on edge. the we And the Japan Coronavirus testing requirements have been imposed on travelers from China, while Morocco, West, sunset I expressly prohibited the entry of all such travelers.

in response, Beijing was harshly criticized Countries are imposing travel restrictions, saying they “lack scientific basis” and calling them “excessive measures”. Mao Ning’s spokeswoman he said at a press conference: “We firmly reject the use of COVID measures for political purposes and will take appropriate measures in response to different situations based on the principle of reciprocity.”

Longhua Funeral Home, Baoxing Funeral Parlor, and China’s National Health Commission did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

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