The crematoria in China They are struggling to manage the arrival of dead bodies as the country battles a surge in Covid-19 coronavirus cases that authorities already consider untraceable.
Contagions skyrocket Chinastressing hospitals and leaving pharmacy shelves empty, after the government’s decision to end almost three years of lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing of covid.
SIGHT: The streets of Chinese cities are empty due to the new wave of coronavirus
From the northeast to the southwest, crematorium workers from across the country told AFP that Can’t keep up with the increase in deaths.
In chongqinga city of 30 million whose authorities this week asked people with mild symptoms to go to work, an employee told AFP that his crematorium had run out of space to store corpses.
“The number of bodies has increased in recent days,” this person said without giving his name.
SIGHT: China: COVID-19-related deaths rise in Beijing after easing of drastic measures
“We are very busy, there is no more refrigerated storage space for corpses”he insisted, although without directly linking this peak to the covid.
In the megacity of Canton (South), an employee at a crematorium in Zengcheng district told AFP that more than 30 bodies were being cremated daily.
“We have bodies sent to us from other districts. No choice”said.
Another incinerator in the city was also “extremely busy.” “It is three or four times more than in previous years, we are burning about 40 corpses a day when before it was only a dozensaid one worker.
“All of Canton is like this”added this person, who said it was “difficult to say” if this increase was linked to covid.
In the northeastern city of Shenyanga professional in the funeral sector said that the corpses took up to five days to bury because the crematoriums were “absolutely saturated”.
Asked if it was related to the covid, he replied: “What you think? I’ve never seen a year like this.”
“Potential to mutate”
In the capital, the Beijing authorities reported only 5 deaths from covid-19 on Tuesday, against 2 the day before.
But before the Dongjiao crematorium of BeijingAFP reporters saw more than a dozen vehicles waiting to enter, mostly hearses.
The delays were obvious and a driver at the front of the queue told AFP that he had waited several hours.
It was not immediately clear if this traffic jam was caused by a spike in Covid deaths and staff at the incinerator declined to respond to questions.
The end of mandatory tests in China makes it difficult to trace infections. Authorities acknowledged last week that it was “impossible” to know the magnitude of the epidemic outbreak at present.
In addition, the country’s health officials said on Tuesday that only those who died directly from respiratory failure caused by the virus will be included in the statistics as victims of the virus. covid-19.
“Currently, after being infected with the omicron variantthe leading cause of death continues to be previous illnessesWang Guiqiang, from Peking University First Hospital, told a National Health Commission press briefing.
“Older people have other previous pathologies, only a very small number die directly from respiratory failure caused by covid”he added.
“We do not avoid the dangers of covid. At the same time, we need to address the dangers of covid scientifically.”he insisted.
The US State Department said Monday that this spike was of international concern.
“We now know that anytime the virus spreads, it’s out of control, it has the potential to mutate and threaten people everywhere,” spokesman Ned Price said.
“The virus balance is worrying for the rest of the world given the size of the GDP of China”, he added.
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.