Wuhan crematoriums ‘are burning bodies 24/7 to cope with extra workload during coronavirus outbreak’
- Wuhan crematoriums working around the clock to cope with influx of bodies
- Worker Mr Yun said ‘more manpower’ needed as chambers are working 24/7
- Bodies of coronavirus victims must be burned, not buried to prevent spread
Wuhan crematoriums are reportedly working around the clock to cope with the extra workload during the coronavirus outbreak.
It comes as the death toll from the virus climbed to 490 in China on Wednesday.
The bodies of victims who have died from the virus must be cremated rather than buried, China’s National Health Commission ruled on February 1.
Pictured: Staff set up beds at an exhibition centre converted into a hospital in Wuhan, China
Officials in protective suits with elderly man wearing a facemask who collapsed and died on a street near a hospital in Wuhan on January 30
A crematorium worker in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak has revealed the long working hours he and his colleagues are putting in to transfer bodies from hospitals and private homes.
According to Mr Yun, at least 100 body bags are required every day. The bodies are collected from Wuhan’s three main hospitals plus other small hospitals, as well as private residences.
‘Since Jan. 28, 90 percent of our employees are working 24/7 … we couldn’t go back home,’ Mr Yun told The Epoch Times.
‘We really need more manpower.’
He explained that the funeral homes in Wuhan are struggling to cope with the influx of bodies. ‘Almost all staff at each funeral home in Wuhan are fully equipped, and all Wuhan cremation chambers are working 24 hours,’ he said.
Officials in protective suits next to the body of one of the victims of the virus. A crematorium worker in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak has revealed the long working hours he and his colleagues are putting in to transfer bodies from hospitals and private homes
Medical personnel check the body temperature of people entering a community health center and pharmacy in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province on February 3
Mr Yun and his colleagues are provided with protective suits to protect them against transmission.
‘For us who transfer the bodies, we don’t eat or drink for a long time in order to preserve the protective suit, because we need to take off the protective suit whenever we eat, drink, or go to the bathroom. The protective suit can’t be worn again after being used,’ he told the publication.
The Wuhan local added that other staff at the funeral home including receptionists lack the necessary protective clothing and resort to wearing raincoats.
Family members are reportedly prevented from seeing their loved one’s bodies, which are picked up by the funeral home staff, due to the risk of potentially becoming infected.
Since its outbreak, more than 20 countries have confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global health emergency, several governments to institute travel restrictions, and airlines to suspend flights to and from China.
The WHO has said the outbreak does not yet constitute a ‘pandemic’.
The disease is believed to have emerged in December in a Wuhan market that sold wild animals, and spread rapidly as people travelled for the Lunar New Year holiday in January.
China has struggled to contain the virus despite unprecedented measures, including virtually locking down more than 50 million people in Hubei province.
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