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Hearses line the streets of Beijing as China’s Covid crisis causes crematorium backlog

Horrifying pictures from China show hearses lining up outside crematoriums as Covid related deaths increase. There is said to be a 20 day backlog, with hospitals in Beijing becoming overwhelmed with casualties just two weeks after Chinese President Xi Jinping rolled back on harsh restrictions which had been in place since the start of the pandemic. He had taken a zero Covid approach by imposing lockdowns, but after severe backlash he began to ease off on the rules.While the rest of the world has fully opened back up as Covid infection rates eased, China relentlessly pursued its policy, significantly impacting its economy, and throwing millions into lockdown at a time.

In one video, vehicles were seen in a queue at a crematorium in Beijing, which is reportedly facing a backlog of nearly a month due to the excess deaths occurring since ending the restrictions.

Meanwhile, other footage appears to show corpses in yellow body bags piling up on the floor of a funeral home. Another shows bodies stored on shelves and in boxes inside a hospital store room after the hospital reportedly ran out of room in its morgue.

China’s stringent policy had left millions of residents locked down for long periods, triggering backlash and protests in one of the biggest tests Mr Xi has faced during his time in control of the Chinese Communist Party.

While the Chinese leader appeared to cave to dissenting voices and has eased these tight restrictive measures, within days this appeared to backfire as Covid cases are said to have skyrocketed.

Now, China’s health authorities have admitted it is not unimaginable that 800 million people – 60 percent of the Chinese population and 10 percent of the entire Earth – could contract the virus in the coming months.

Leading epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding tweeted: “THERMONUCLEAR BAD—Hospitals completely overwhelmed in China ever since restrictions dropped. Epidemiologist estimate more than 60 percent of China and 10 percent of Earth’s population likely infected over next 90 days. Deaths likely in the millions—plural. This is just the start.”


Dr Feigl-Ding tweeted: “Staff at Beijing’s largest Babaoshan funeral house confirmed that all of its incinerators were working but were still unable to meet demand, resulting in a 20-day backlog.”

He added that the time it takes for Covid cases to double in China may no longer be measured in days anymore, as cases could double in “hours”, according to experts. 

The R number, which gives a measure of the transmissibility of the virus is currently at a staggering 16, according scientists at the China National Health Commission. This means that every person infected is likely to spread the disease onto about 16 others.

Health data analysts Airfinity has estimated that China could see a shocking 1.3 to 2.1 million deaths between now and the end of March.

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China’s official figures are vastly different from anecdotal reports, which reveal a much more harrowing picture. For instance, workers at the Beijing Dongjiao Funeral Parlour who are tasked with handling Covid deaths have said they have been becoming overwhelmed with bodies in recent days.

Epidemiologist Wu Zunyou, a top Chinese health official, has said that he suspectes the current spike in infections continue until mid-January, warning that a second wave would strike later in the month due to mass travel around the week-long Lunar New Year celebrations, which start on January 21. 

Dr Wu added that a third surge in cases would hit the nation in late February and will run until mid-March as people go back to work after the holiday. But he told a conference that vaccinations in the country offer a certain degree of protection against the spikes and have kept the number of severe cases limited. 

China claims that over 90 percent of its population has been fully vaccinated. But under half of its citizens over the age of 80 have received three vaccine doses. This could be a concern as older age is directly linked to severe Covid symptoms.