WASHINGTON: At a large crematorium on the rural outskirts of Chongqing, a long line of cars waited for parking spaces inside the compound on Thursday afternoon. Dozens of bereaved relatives milled around in groups, some carrying wooden urns, as funeral gongs sounded and mourners burned incense.
One middle-aged man carrying an urn told AFP an elderly relative died after testing positive for the virus.
“It’s been constantly busy lately,” said one crematorium driver as he sat smoking in his car. “We work more than 10 hours a day with few breaks.”
Another staffer wearing an overcoat and face shield agreed. “It’s not possible to put bodies in cold storage, they must be cremated on the same day,” he said. Around 20 hearses lined the road to another crematorium in the city’s south on Thursday evening. Inside was a large car park, where bodies on stretchers were being unloaded onto a small raised platform before being transferred to the upper levels.