By Frances Martel – 7 Apr. 2020
Locals in Wuhan, where the Chinese coronavirus pandemic originated, have heard screams coming from funeral home furnaces, and some treated in hospitals say they saw workers put living coronavirus patients in body bags, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on Monday.
RFA noted that it could not independently verify that the Chinese Communist Party was burning coronavirus patients alive, nor has the Communist Party confirmed or denied the rumors. Yet the rumors persist that, to make room for new patients in Wuhan’s overcrowded hospitals, medical staff chose older patients less likely to survive the infection and shipped them to incinerators while they were still alive and conscious.
RFA quoted a source “close to the funeral industry” identified only as Ma who said that he had heard reports of “people restrained and forced into body bags when they were still moving.”
“Some people are saying that … there are video clips of screams coming from funeral homes, from inside the furnaces … which tells us that some people were taken to the funeral homes while they were still alive,” Ma added.
Ma also noted the existence of video testimony from an anonymous older woman who had been treated at a Wuhan hospital, presumably for Chinese coronavirus.
“One old lady was saying that they put one guy into … a body bag when he wasn’t even dead yet, and took him off to the crematorium because there was no way of saving him,” Ma told RFA.
Video of an older woman speaking anonymously to a camera began circulating on social media in February in which she said she witnessed a patient next to her at a Wuhan hospital stuffed into a body bag while still alive.
“He’s not dead, his feet and hands are still moving,” the woman says, “[They] wrapped him in a plastic body bag and zipped it up.”
According to New Tang Dynasty, a broadcaster affiliated with the persecuted Chinese Falun Gong movement, the woman spoke with a Wuhan accent, suggesting she was a native of the central Chinese city.
The Taiwanese outlet Taiwan News traced the origin of the video to a Chinese student group called “Youth Production,” who reportedly uploaded the video on February 24. Taiwan News noted that the woman claimed to have suffered from coronavirus symptoms but, as she was in her 60s, she did not suffer severe symptoms, unlike the man taken away, who she estimated was in his 70s.
“She said that the man was weak but was still breathing when medical workers ‘bound his head’ and then his hands and feet, which were ‘still moving,’” Taiwan News reported, noting that she also lamented that the hospital where she received care had no other treatments available for coronavirus patients besides oxygen. In the West, doctors have begun experimenting with several drug mixtures, one of which — a combination of antibiotics and hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to treat lupus and malaria — has generated optimism in American hospitals.
The woman said she felt older patients at the hospital were treated “like dead dogs.”
Neither Taiwan News nor RFA could independently confirm the reports of Wuhan residents being burned alive.
The Chinese Communist Party claims that, as of Tuesday, it has documented 82,718 cases of coronavirus nationwide and 3,335 deaths across the country. The vast majority of these, 3,212 deaths, were recorded in Hubei province. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei.
Multiple reports citing sources in Wuhan’s seven funeral homes dispute this claim, estimating that the real death toll in the city is as much as ten times higher than China’s official nationwide death toll. Reports of hundreds of bodies cremated in some funeral homes began surfacing in February, at the height of the epidemic in the city. Government officials did not allow residents to pick up the remains of their relatives until late March, however, as the strict lockdown that saw government officials welding Wuhan residents in their homes was still ongoing.
When the funeral homes opened to distributed ashes two weekends ago, witnesses estimated that some funeral homes were distributing as many as 5,000 sets of remains a day. Estimates as to the number of sets of remains distributed last week in Wuhan range from 30,000 to 46,000 people.
“There are suspicions that many people died in their homes without being diagnosed and, at first, there were no kits to do the test,” an unnamed resident said in a report last week. “Nobody in Wuhan believes the official numbers. The real one, only they know.”
Ma, the funeral home source speaking to RFA in its report on Monday, said that Wuhan was cremating so many bodies at some point that some incinerators broke down, resulting in cremators placing multiple bodies in one incinerator at a time to keep up with the sheer amount of remains. The result has been several reported incidents of people receiving urns with ashes featuring items they do not recognize that clearly did not belong to their loved ones.
“A resident of Wuhan’s Jiang’an district surnamed Liu said she had found a man’s belt clasp in the urn she was given, supposedly containing her mother’s ashes,” RFA noted. “And a resident of Hongshan district said he had found the remains of ceramic dental crown, denture or implant in the urn labeled with his father’s name, even though his father had never had such a thing fitted.”