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Chinese crematoriums overwhelmed, running 24 hours a day as Covid surges across the country

Covid is swiftly spreading across China after three years of rigorous containment restrictions were relaxed last week, with health officials now acknowledging that the exact scope of the epidemic is difficult to trace.

The workers at Beijing crematoriums have stated that they are overwhelmed with the number of bodies as China confronts a wave of Covid cases. The Covid wave is expected to further rise as officials say it will strike the country’s undeveloped rural hinterland during the approaching public holiday. Covid is swiftly spreading across China after three years of rigorous containment restrictions were relaxed last week, with health officials now acknowledging that the exact scope of the epidemic is difficult to trace.

China’s main Covid response authority asked local governments on Friday to increase monitoring and treatment services for individuals returning to their families for the upcoming New Year’s Day and Lunar New Year celebrations. The latter is the world’s greatest yearly migration, and after three years of wait due to Covid related restrictions, a large percentage of the Chinese population is expected to travel.

Despite government data showing no new Covid fatalities since December 4, two Beijing funeral facilities stated they were open 24 hours a day and offered same-day cremation services to meet increased demand.

“We’re being worked to the bone! Over 10 of our 60 staff are positive for Covid but we have no choice,” said one crematorium. Meanwhile, another one added that they were cremating 20 bodies a day, mostly old people. The crematoriums also reported a week-long wait list for a space. 

As per the reports, since the removal of several domestic restrictions on December 7, China’s national health authority has not recorded any official Covid-19 deaths. The last official deaths were recorded on December 4, in Shandong and Sichuan areas.

Amid protests, the nation relaxed tough Covid-19 rules, allowing home quarantine for many and abolishing the Covid-19 test rule for public venues, an unusual step in the communist country.

The lifting of restrictions brought relief to the Chinese people, who had been suffering for over three years as a result of draconian control measures. China’s well-known ‘Zero Covid’ policy had sparked significant demonstrations around the country, as well as international condemnation.

Protesters chanted anti-establishment slogans in the Chinese provinces of Shanghai, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Beijing, and other places. Despite a stringent curfew, anti-government banners were displayed in a rare display of public defiance of the Xi government’s policies.

According to Human Rights Watch, demonstrators held up blank banners to avoid detention and reduce danger, and screamed slogans such as ‘Down with the Communist Party!’ and ‘Down with Xi Jinping!’

A new study conducted by experts at the University of Hong Kong reveals that China might witness around a million Covid fatalities this winter if timely interventions such as fourth-dose booster vaccines and societal restrictions are not implemented.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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