Coronavirus: Queues seen outside of Wuhan crematorium as residents gather to collect ashes of loved ones

After the two months of lockdown imposed in January was finally lifted, people were seen in a line for six hours to collect the ashes of those who died during COVID-19 pandemic

                            Coronavirus: Queues seen outside of Wuhan crematorium as residents gather to collect ashes of loved ones
(Getty Images)

The residents of Wuhan, where novel coronavirus originated, are now able to move out of their houses after the lockdown imposed in January was lifted recently.  The people of Wuhan rushed to different facilities, with the longest queue being the line to collect the ashes and mourn for the loss of their loved ones. To prevent further spread of the virus, the authorities had banned people from collecting ashes of their loved ones or hold a funeral for them all this while. 

A long queue of people was seen waiting outside the Hankou Crematorium in Wuhan.  According to the local facilities, the cremation services will be free of charge for the deceased who died from the virus. But residents needed to wait for five to six hours to collect the ashes if they didn't have a pre-booked appointment, a worker told the Daily Mail

A citizen of Wuhan, Ding Ding lost his mother at the end of February and the authorities had told him to find a burial site soon and inter her ashes."We need to make an appointment to get a space at the cemetery and then get the ashes, there are too many people waiting,” he told ITV News.“I am not ready, it came all of a sudden, we were planning to have a family funeral, but we've been told to handle this as quickly as possible." He said people were queuing outside the cemetery for four to five hours.

The authorities wanted to give out all the ashes before Qingming Festival, also known as the Tomb-sweeping Day that falls on April 4. It is a traditional Chinese annual occasion when people pay tribute to deceased family and friends. However, even after collecting the ashes, the ceremonies will be held by the cemetery workers. They will pay tribute to the deceased ones on behalf of the residents to prevent large gatherings and reduce the chances of spreading the virus. 

Residents of Wuhan fear a second wave of the virus after lifting the lockdown due to a large number of silent carriers who show no symptoms and can potentially spread the virus to others. Another reason they fear is that there are chances that former patients who were diagnosed with the virus can be infected once more even after the 'all clear card'. This raises a cause for concern and is the reason why large gatherings and funerals are still being prevented until the end of April.

Nevertheless, the cities have to start getting back to their daily routine and businesses, which is why, the authorities have assigned a color based QR code on the residents’ phones, indicating the person's health status. The colors are assigned according to the provincial epidemic control database. People who have been diagnosed as confirmed, suspected or asymptomatic cases. People with a fever will receive the red color code; their close contacts will receive the yellow code; and people without any record in the database will get the green code -- meaning they're healthy and safe to go around.

Those with the green QR code will be allowed to work, given they receive a letter from their employer.

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