Wuhan residents are dismissive of Chinese Communist Party’s reported coronavirus death count of approximately 2,500 deaths in the city with most people saying that the real number is at least 40,000.
Wuhan, the first epicenter of the global outbreak of novel coronavirus, has began gradually lifting the lockdown over the weekend. The city restarted some subway service, reopened its borders and allowed families to reunite.
“Maybe the authorities are gradually releasing the real figures, intentionally or unintentionally, so that people will gradually come to accept the reality,” a Wuhan resident, who identified himself as Mao, told Radio Free Asia.
According to the report, for more than a week now, several large funeral homes that serve Wuhan have been handing out the cremated remains of about 500 people to their families every day. When added, the figure discredits official number the Chinese government has claimed into question.
“It can’t be right … because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?” a man identified as Zhang told RFA.
Wuhan residents said the government was paying families as much as 3,000 yuan for “funeral allowances” in exchange for silence.
“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,” Wuhan resident Chen Yaohui said, in a reference to the traditional grave tending festival on April 5.
“During the epidemic, they transferred cremation workers from around China to Wuhan keep cremate bodies around the clock,” he added.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.