After emerging from two months of isolation, many people in the Chinese city of Wuhan are questioning their Communist government’s official estimate that the coronavirus locally claimed 2,500 lives.
Multiple crematoria in Wuhan were working overtime in recent days, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Friday. The facilities have reportedly delivered the ashes of approximately 500 people each day. The reported figure suggests a death toll that far exceeds the government’s total.
“It can’t be right … because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?” one Wuhan resident asked RFA Friday. (RELATED: Chinese Ambassador Applauds Hillary Clinton For Spreading Chinese Propaganda)
“They started distributing ashes and starting interment ceremonies [last] Monday,” he said.
There are seven funeral homes in the city. Caixin.com, a Beijing-based media group, has reported that one of these facilities received a shipment of 5,000 urns in just one day. The news outlet reported Monday that people were standing in line for hours to receive the ashes of family members.
Crematoria are promising to return the ashes of loved ones before the Apr. 5 festival of Qing Ming, when the Chinese honor family graves. RFA notes that if mass cremation began March 23, a total of 42,000 bodies would be consumed by the April date. (RELATED: ‘Buy American’ — White House Confirms Executive Order That Will End Medical Supply Chain Reliance On China)
Another calculation multiplies the number of furnaces operating by the number of hours in a day of operation (24), resulting in a figure of 46,800.
There are also accusations that the Chinese government is effectively paying people for their silence by distributing a 3,000 yuan “funeral allowance” to the families of those who report a death due to the COVID-19 virus.
“There have been a lot of funerals in the past few days, and the authorities are handing out 3,000 yuan in hush money to families who get their loved ones’ remains laid to rest ahead of Qing Ming,” a source told RFA.
Critics accuse China of covering up evidence and testimony related to the coronavirus after the sickness first began infecting people in Wuhan. The Communist Party leadership reportedly gagged physicians who tried to warn the world about the potential devastation of the COVID-19 virus.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has specifically accused the Chinese leadership of orchestrating a coverup.
“It took an awful long time for the world to become aware of this risk that was sitting there residing inside of China,” Pompeo noted earlier in March.