Wuhan Municipal Government Offering Free Cremations
The Wuhan municipal government is apparently offering free cremations. Here is the link on Weibo, which is attributed to the Wuhan Internet Information Office. According to the post, "during New Year's Eve a funeral agency in Wuhan increased the price to receive remains, causing complaints from survivors." To make up for apparent price gouging, "charges for the cremation of the remains of deceased pneumonia patients with new coronaviruses will now be free of charge". We cannot 100% confirm the validity of the Weibo post, but it appears authentic.
Overall, we remain skeptical regarding how the Chinese government is handling the situation, and we very much continue to question the official outbreak tally as well as the death count. Also of note is back on January 26th, we reported that prior to the coronavirus making the news this month, one cremation center in Wuhan reportedly [we are not able to confirm this] cremated more than 30 bodies in one night alone (and these deaths were not attributed to the coronavirus). In the same update, we also reported that separately the Wall Street Journal had published an article examining how some hospitals had been classifying the cause of death in many patients as just "severe pneumonia"and not related to the coronavirus (those deaths also were not included in the count of infected people and deaths). It is difficult to know what exactly is taking place in China at present, but free cremations is a morbid development we have not seen before and is also a reminder of the earlier reports we heard of December cremations.