Rural China runs out of coffins as COVID-19 runs rampant – and funeral costs soar

Rural China runs out of coffins as COVID-19 runs rampant – and funeral costs soar

Rural China runs out of coffins as COVID-19 runs rampant – and funeral costs soar

A woman walks past a tent at the Covid-19 testing center on January 19, 2023 in Hong Kong, China.

A woman walks past a tent at the Covid-19 testing center on January 19, 2023 in Hong Kong, China.Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • Rural areas in China are running out of coffins amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the BBC reported.

  • There is no official number or estimate of deaths from COVID-19 in some rural areas in China.

  • One villager told the BBC that funeral industry workers “earn a small fortune”.

China’s rural areas are running out of coffins and funeral costs are soaring due to a rapid rise in deaths related to COVID-19, BBC News reported.

A villager in China’s Shanxi province told the BBC that coffins had run out in some areas and that funeral industry workers were “making a small fortune” during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

China, a country of 1.4 billion people, has reported at least 34,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. Reuters reported last week that the WHO accused China of understating the scale of the current data. The Insider reported in December, citing Airfinity, a health data company, that more than 5,000 people were likely dying a day from COVID-19 in China.

In rural areas of the country, it is difficult to collect data on COVID-19. The BBC reported that there is currently no official estimate of the number of deaths in rural Chinese villages because most villagers die at home or in small village clinics.

BBC staff who visited China’s Shanxi province reported that crematoria were busy, funeral homes were facing a shortage of coffins and deaths were rising.

“One day someone would die and the next day someone else. It’s been non-stop for the last month,” one villager told the BBC.

A doctor who runs a small clinic in rural China told the BBC he hoped the worst was over and that most residents in his town had already contracted COVID-19.

“We haven’t had any patients in the past few days,” he said.

However, there is concern that more deaths from COVID-19 are yet to come, the BBC reported. Millions of younger people visited their rural towns during the Lunar New Year, possibly bringing COVID-19 to older, more vulnerable residents.

The BBC interviewed a man, Wang Peiwei, whose sister-in-law had died after contracting COVID-19.

“He was a great man. We have to put on a big event to drive him away, the best we can afford,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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