As the Chinese New Year (January 22) is approaching, a painful sentence that is circulating online in China is, “Saving our parents from dying [of COVID].”
High Death Toll
Guangyang County, Guangxi Province
Guangyang is a remote county in Guangxi Province. The streets are usually crowded before the Chinese New Year, but this year there are much fewer people. One rice noodle restaurant owner shared the story of his 70-year-old father. The elderly man had recovered from COVID, but his symptoms relapsed a few days later after taking a shower. He was rushed to the local hospital and found to have serious lung damage commonly known as “white lung.” Doctors recommended he be transferred to a hospital in the provincial capital of Guilin. His family refused to do so fearing that he might die on the way there.
Four or five elderly patients died every day in the intensive care unit of the local hospital. In Guanyang National Middle School, a student suddenly collapsed in a physical exercise class and died. It was said the child died of COVID. One Guangyang family went to their even more remote hometown to try to escape COVID. One day it was very hot and they had to open the window for some fresh air. Everyone in the family was infected after that.
Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province
All hospitals in Harbin City of Heilongjiang Province are packed with COVID patients. Every department in the hospitals, not just the infectious disease department or the emergency department, has been used to treat COVID patients. They have turned away non-COVID patients, even those with connections.
Six professors from Yunnan University died between December 21 and 31, 2022. All of them were members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They were:
Tao Yuanqi (Master’s student advisor, School of Chemistry Science and Engineering, died on December 21)
Wang Keli (Party Secretary of Geophysics, died on December 27)
Yang Mingfang (Master’s students Advisor, School of Mathematics and Statistics, died on December 28)
Chen Zhengping (68, School of Marxism, died on December 30), and Yuan Chaojun (Disciplinary Inspector, died on December 31)
Seven professors at the China University of Petroleum in Beijing died around the 2023 New Year. They were:
Hua Zepeng (former Party Secretary, who died on December 22)
Liu Xisheng (Department of Petroleum Engineering, who died on December 26)
Feng Zengzhao (Department of Earth Sciences, who died on January 5)
Lu Qingbang (Department of Basic Science, died on January 7)
Pan Huifang (School of Petrochemical Engineering, died on January 8)
Lin, a resident of Chisha Town in Baoji City, Shaanxi Province, told The Epoch Times on January 16 that many people in the countryside had been infected. “Over 10 people have died in our village and they were all elderly,” she said. “They were all buried [without cremation].”
She said many people had left the village decades ago to work as government employees in the city. After some of them died recently, the wait time for cremation was so long that their bodies were brought back to the countryside for burial.
Long Wait Time for Cremation
There are long queues for cremation throughout China and crematories even limit the number of family members allowed to attend the funeral.
When one resident in Changyi City, Shandong Province died in late 2022, he was the 120th in the queue to be cremated.
The Anqiu City Crematory in Shandong Province burns over 100 bodies every day and the long line of cars waiting outside has expanded to the nearby roads. Local residents said they had never seen something like this in the past.
Hu Liren is a former entrepreneur from Shanghai who currently lives in the United States. When chatting with a friend from Shanghai the other day, he learned that the friend’s mother died on the same day (December 29, 2022) as Hu’s father and that the former’s body would be cremated 16 days after the latter’s.
Hu said the crematories in Shanghai had expanded working hours, from 8 hours a day to 24 hours a day. The body holding time [before cremation] was also extended from 4 days to 16 days. Although the normal daily deaths in Shanghai are about 350, it has been over 4,000 a day recently.
“Currently, the seafood cold chain warehouse expropriated by the Shanghai Baoshan Wharf government has placed 8,000 corpses from the urban area of Shanghai there,” Hu wrote on Twitter on January 14. “The Shanghai government is busy constructing more furnaces in hopes to accommodate 2,000 bodies per day. As of yesterday (January 13) night, some deceased’s family members had to wait up to 3 months to pick up their loved one’s ashes.”
One reader of Minghui living in Wuhan City, Hubei Province said she often told residents in the neighborhood how the Chinese Communist Party had been harming people including Falun Gong practitioners. But some people refused to listen and continued to side with the regime.
There were over 20 such people in the community who had died around the 2023 New Year. Most of them were already in their 70s and 80s but had been relatively healthy. “I knew two of them very well. One had a son-in-law working as a police officer and another had a son-in-law working in the Domestic Security Bureau,” said the reader. “When the two people’s household registrations were canceled after their deaths, the local police station said that there are no COVID-deaths in Wuhan and that they would be logged as natural deaths. What a lie!”
Henan, Chongqing, and Guizhou
One crematory worker from a county in Henan Province said the facility had to burn about 160 bodies a day, up from the usual 30-40 bodies in the past. Another worker said the workload was three times higher than before because of COVID.
Washington Post analysed satellite images and found that the number of deaths was much higher than what the CCP had admitted. “The imagery is consistent with interviews The Post conducted with mourning Chinese residents and funeral home workers. Social media posts verified by The Post reveal long wait times and overwhelmed staff at additional facilities,” it wrote in a January 9 article titled “Satellite images show crowds at China’s crematoriums as COVID surges.”
A receptionist at the Jiangnan Funeral Home in Chongqing in southwest China had been working there for six years and was never this busy. The freezers were full and all eight incinerators were operating 24/7. “The phone has basically not stopped ringing,” she added.
A similar situation happens at Jingyunshan funeral home in Guiyang, the capital city of Guizhou Province. “A receptionist said they handled up to 250 bodies a day during the last two weeks of December — more than twice the facility’s daily peak before COVID restrictions were lifted. Storage space was full and incinerators were operating 24 hours a day,” wrote the above-mentioned Washington Post article, adding that COVID-deaths were often recorded as other illnesses such as “severe cold.”
Chinese version available