New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) Once, Beijing’s state media mocked nations such as India that incinerated corpses of pandemic victims in town squares. Now the regime is so crippled by Covid that sons must burn the bodies of their fathers outside blocks of flats in its leading cities, according to a media report.
Such is the pitiful state of today’s China, the country that gave birth to the pandemic just over three years ago, but which has long boasted of its supposedly world-beating ability to contain this cruel disease, Daily Mail reported.
Astonishing leaked figures from Chinese health authorities estimate that 250 million people – almost one in five citizens – caught Covid in the first 20 days of last month after Preident Xi Jinping abruptly dismantled rigid restrictions imposed since 2020.
Having enforced the world’s strictest controls with ruthless lockdowns, relentless testing and rigid mass quarantines, Xi was panicked into making a humiliating about-turn on December 7 after a spate of protests.
With a fragile health system and inadequate vaccination rates, the impact was instant and predictable.
One hospital in Shanghai warned that half the 26 million residents of the country’s most populous city will be infected by now and urged staff to prepare for a “tragic battle” in the coming weeks, Daily Mail reported.
Other cities are being hit just as hard.
“I can name 20 people I know from different cities who have been infected over the past two weeks,” said a journalist in Shanghai, who has caught Covid along with his partner.
“It’s spreading like wildfire.”
Videos shared on social media that evade strict censorship show deserted streets and desperate patients in over-crowded hospitals, which are so overwhelmed that the elderly are treated in beds outside in car parks. They expose hospital morgues flooded with corpses, warehouses overflowing with coffins, crematoria unable to cope with demand despite burning huge numbers of bodies each day and pharmacies with shelves swept clean of drugs, Daily Mail reported.
The consequences of President Xi’s imperious actions and China’s immense Covid outbreak are alarming – for the health of its citizens, for the prosperity of the global economy and for the future of this lethal pandemic.
Yet typically – in keeping with the Communist dictatorship’s deceitful behaviour ever since this strange new virus emerged within its borders – officials claim to be focused on protecting lives as they pump out ludicrous data downplaying a tide of fatalities, Daily Mail reported.
So last Wednesday, for instance, there was just one new Covid death across China and then one more on each of the next two days, according to Beijing’s claims.
Yet one person in Chengdu, a city of more than 16 million people, went to a crematorium after their grandmother died only to discover “hearses stacked with bodies” lined up in front. Many had been there for days.
“They cremate more than 1,000 bodies every day lately. “Funeral ceremonies have all been cancelled because there’s not enough time,” said the bereaved citizen.
A funeral home worker in the south-western city estimated there had been a five-fold surge in cremations since the government lifted Covid restrictions.
“We’re so busy we don’t even have time to eat,” he added, Daily Mail reported.
Staff at a big funeral home in Beijing said their incinerators were running full-time but there was still a three-week backlog. Fees have doubled.
At least 2,700 people died from Covid in the capital on a single day before Christmas, according to one report.
“There is no more cold storage space for bodies,” disclosed another crematorium worker in a third major city, Daily Mail reported.
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