The long lines of bereaved family members outside funeral homes in Wuhan have renewed questions about the true scale of coronavirus casualties at the Chinese epicentre of the outbreak.
This report explores how this has also renewed pressure on the Chinese government as it struggles to control the narrative.
The number of urns sold in Wuhan and returned to family members is said to far exceed the official death toll.
Chinese authorities insist 2,543 died as the lockdown imposed on January 23 is lifted and people emerge from their homes to retrieve the remains of their loved ones.
The official figure for nationwide deaths in China is 3,309. Italy is currently the epicentre with 12,428 deaths recorded so far, mostly in the past three weeks.
The ashes of the dead in China have been under the care of crematorium because their family members were in quarantine and people had not been allowed to have a funeral.
But reports of long lines of bereaved family members outside funeral homes in Wuhan have renewed questions about the true scale of coronavirus casualties at the Chinese epicentre.
Those living in hard-hit city believe about 42,000 people have now been killed by the airborne bug.
Locals point to the fact around 500 urns are being delivered to grieving families each day from seven funeral homes based in the massive city, in Hubei Province.
Reports say the ashes of 3,500 people are now due to be distributed every day in the run up to Qing Ming festival on April 5 when families tend the graves of the dead.
This would mean 42,000 urns could be distributed in that 12-day period — as the deliveries have been been ongoing for five days, reports the Mail Online.
“It can’t be right because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died” -Wuhan Resident
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