Wuhan Funeral Urns as an Indicator of Death Rate?

DavidB66

Active Member
Metabunk 2020-03-29 07-45-11.jpg
Looking at that remarkable curve for Hubei (China) in post #101 above, I think we should note that even inside China doubts have been publicly expressed about the official figures. Today's UK Sunday Times (sorry, paywalled), page 19, reports that
According to Beijing, 2,535 people died in the central Chinese city [Wuhan] from the virus. But a picture published by Caixin, an independent news website, showed 3,500 urns stacked in just one of Wuhan's eight funeral homes, although it was unclear how many contained ashes. [Also, I note, unclear how many of the dead had died from causes other than COVID-19.] Caixin reported that 5,000 urns had been delivered to the establishment on Wednesday and Thursday.
[Mod add]
https://time.com/5811222/wuhan-coronavirus-death-toll/
http://photos.caixin.com/2020-03-26/101534542_7.html#picture
Metabunk 2020-03-29 07-42-10.jpg
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Looking at that remarkable curve for Hubei (China) in post #101 above, I think we should note that even inside China doubts have been publicly expressed about the official figures. Today's UK Sunday Times (sorry, paywalled), page 19, reports that
I'm assuming that none of them contain ashes, and based on 11 Mio inhabitants in Wuhan, a yearly death rate of 0.74%, this would be the supply for 6 months for one of the eight establishments. We're seeing a half-truth here, the evidence is not strong enough for accusations.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2...-asia-pacific/china-corona-toll/#.XoCgRHjuKrU
Edit: With the newspaper number, 56000/8=7000 per crematorium per quarter. The 3500 urns pictured would be nearly used up in 6 weeks.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The photos show cardboard boxes printed with a classical Chinese mountain scene.
Metabunk 2020-03-29 07-59-44.jpg
The boxes have been closed by overlapping the flaps.
Metabunk 2020-03-29 07-48-29.jpg

In the background are stacks of plain cardboard boxes with what look like small coffins, but are probably a type of ash container. Seemingly larger than the colorful boxes.
Metabunk 2020-03-29 07-50-14.jpg

Here's one being carried out of the building, covered in cloth.
Metabunk 2020-03-29 07-55-07.jpg
 

DavidB66

Active Member
I'm assuming that none of them contain ashes, and based on 11 Mio inhabitants in Wuhan, a yearly death rate of 0.74%, this would be the supply for 6 months for one of the eight establishments. We're seeing a half-truth here, the evidence is not strong enough for accusations.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2...-asia-pacific/china-corona-toll/#.XoCgRHjuKrU
Edit: With the newspaper number, 56000/8=7000 per crematorium per quarter. The 3500 urns pictured would be nearly used up in 6 weeks.
I agree the evidence, by itself, is not strong enough for accusations, but it should at least raise suspicions. My concern is that we should not put too much weight on the official Chinese data in making epidemiological predictions, let alone policy. Yet that is precisely what some people seem to be doing. For example, a new report in the UK press today states that:

Tom Pike, from Imperial College, had calculated the likely death rate in Britain by assuming that our outbreak followed a similar trajectory to that seen in Wuhan, China. His paper predicted that, at its highest, Britain would see 260 deaths a day. That number was, however, reached over the weekend, and the rate of increase in deaths still seemed to be rising. Professor Pike said this changed the results entirely. “We don’t know where that uptick is going to go, or if it will keep going in the same direction,” he said. “That’s critical in terms of the projected total deaths. If we don’t regain the Wuhan trajectory, each day we are building up more deaths. It’s a very dangerous state to be in.” [Times/Sunday Times website]
But what if the 'Wuhan trajectory' is not what it seems? It is at best naïve to trust Chinese government statistics for anything. I don't suggest that we should automatically trust western governments either, but at least in a democracy, with free speech and a free press, governments who are tempted to suppress or massage the data will know that they are likely to be found out eventually, and that they may be punished at the ballot box. None of these disciplines apply in China.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
@DavidB66
My experience is that China has been cooperating with the WHO in this outbreak and in past outbreaks. For them not to do that, they'd have to be dumb or evil, and there is a political agenda behind painting them as that.
Now, if the pandemic continues to run rampant, one of two things must be occurring:
a) either the emergency hospitals are still operating, OR
b) people are dying of pneumonia with pink froth on their lips
Now, somehow, someone (who?) managed to send a picture of the urns out of china, but we do not have any news or pictures of a) or b). I am suspicious of that, and I know that there are people with the political agenda of making China look as bad as possible. AND the picture was shared with a lack of background information, such as how often the crematorium usually gets these kinds of deliveries. I'd have been hoping someone actually talked to somone who worked there, instead of taking the opportunity to go viral on social media with a picture and some emotionally stirring assumptions that amplify people's prejudices.

The reasonable explanation is, a) they use a lot of urns because that is a big city, b) the Chinese are neither evil nor dumb, c) social media is stirred to sinophobia by certain parties

China is an authoritarian society. They had a very strict lockdown, and they have contact tracing via smartphone apps, and thus they have been able to implement very thorough quarantine measures, and they managed to push transmission way below R=1 and contained the epidemic. We know how they did that, it's all documented, it happened this year!

Now, granted, China has a political interest in displaying to the world that these harsh measures are actually successful, and that their system is actually superior to Western society models, but I think it actually is, in this specific case. I don't think China could open for business again once this is over and hope that a suppressed epidemic stays secret, given the amount of international business and science cooperation and exchanges.

The other political interest at play here is that the US doesn't want to appear as if they have been bested by China. What harm comes to them for perpetuating a hoax? None.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The Guardian, March 25
 

DavidB66

Active Member
@DavidB66
My experience is that China has been cooperating with the WHO in this outbreak and in past outbreaks. For them not to do that, they'd have to be dumb or evil, and there is a political agenda behind painting them as that....
Your experience appears to conflict with this Japanese press report, by a Bloomberg reporter, which says that China has refused to allow experts from the WHO to visit Hubei and Wuhan:

Late last month, the World Health Organization began offering to send an international team of experts to China to observe and help with the outbreak of a novel coronavirus.

On Monday, that team of experts was finally allowed to start its investigations. The Chinese government, however, will not let them visit epidemic-stricken Hubei province or the city of Wuhan, the likely source of the virus now called Covid-19 and the site of the largest quarantine in history....

... China’s unwillingness to allow such a team to visit the center of the outbreak not only denies its citizens — and the world — the best possible expertise in dealing with the outbreak, but also undermines confidence in the information that China is providing. In short: What is China hiding?
The article also states that China similarly refused or delayed co-operation in the 2003 SARS epidemic, and was criticised by the WHO at that time.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinio...who-should-demand-more-of-china/#.XoG7825FxPZ
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The article also states that China similarly refused or delayed co-operation in the 2003 SARS epidemic, and was criticised by the WHO at that time.
Were they deceiving anyone back in 2003?

The WHO mission did go to Wuhan. It appears not everyone went; I believe the city was still under quarantine at the time?

From the WHO press briefing:
https://www.who.int/docs/default-so...ce-script-english-final.pdf?sfvrsn=51c90b9e_2
Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
https://www.who.int/docs/default-so...na-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf
[p.26]
WHO Mission in Wuhan.png
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Wouldn't the fact of life beginning to return to normal in Wuhan and the rest of China be the biggest indicator that the figures are right?
 

DavidB66

Active Member
Mendel:

According to the Japanese/Bloomberg press article:

In 2003, during the SARS epidemic, it took months — and severe international criticism and pressure — before China opened Guangdong province, the source of the epidemic, to an international team of epidemiologists. At the time, the WHO was among the organizations leveling some of the most severe criticism.
I don't know if this is correct, I am just reporting it. On both occasions, if the article is correct, the WHO wanted to send a team to the most relevant area (Guangdong in 2003, Hubei/Wuhan now) and on both occasions the request was denied, at least in part.

Rory:

Wouldn't the fact of life beginning to return to normal in Wuhan and the rest of China be the biggest indicator that the figures are right?
I think it would indicate that the Chinese government believes the situation is now under control. It would not necessarily indicate that the published figures for deaths in Wuhan were correct. If the authorities decided to put Wuhan in strict quarantine and let nature take its course within Wuhan itself, the population there may already have attained the nirvana of 'herd immunity' - at a price in lives. Some of our own politicians (allegedly) initially wanted to take this approach, but backed away when they realised the price would be too high, in a democratic society.

I am not by any means 'anti-Chinese', but it should be self-evident that the statistics produced by an authoritarian regime cannot be trusted without independent verification. Remember that at the height of the Holodomor in the Ukraine, Western dupes were taken on guided tours and came back with glowing accounts.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
on both occasions the request was denied, at least in part.
It wasn't denied, the WHO was there, I posted the proof, which includes the fact that the WHO has personnel in every country of the world permanently.

If the authorities decided to put Wuhan in strict quarantine and let nature take its course within Wuhan itself, the population there may already have attained the nirvana of 'herd immunity' - at a price in lives.
We have credible reports and newspaper footage that Wuhan was in Lockdown and that China is using an App to enforce contact tracking and quarantining. Lots of reports!
If China wanted to achieve herd immunity, they should have done the exact opposite; they did not, therefore that was not their plan.

No epidemiologist has ever advised letting this epidemic run its course. I am thankful that the politicians who safeguard my health do not disregard established science.
 
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Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Your experience appears to conflict with this Japanese press report, by a Bloomberg reporter, which says that China has refused to allow experts from the WHO to visit Hubei and Wuhan:
Given the existing political tensions between Japan and China, going on for many decades, i would take Japanese press reporting of China with a pinch of salt.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Is this story on Radio Free Asia the source of many of the "crematoriums busier than official figures say" features?

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/wuhan-deaths-03272020182846.html
So estimates of around 40,000 cremations in a week.
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
I think it would indicate that the Chinese government believes the situation is now under control. It would not necessarily indicate that the published figures for deaths in Wuhan were correct.
Agreed. By "figures being right" I was really thinking about the low number of new cases. But wasn't clear about it.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I see that quite a few news outlets are still looking at the urns issue today. The National Post includes:

1585691765422.png
Source: https://nationalpost.com/news/world...rompt-questions-of-chinas-pandemic-death-toll

That contrasts with The Japan Times article mentioned by Mendel above:

1585691819999.png
Source: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2...science-health-asia-pacific/china-corona-toll

Not sure where the original data can be found. Maybe at http://english.wh.gov.cn/, but perhaps more likely at http://www.jianghan.gov.cn/pub/ywb/index.htm.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
The National Post figures are actually from a Bloomberg article, which helpfully includes a link to the correct Wuhan website:

http://mzj.wuhan.gov.cn/tjxx/387166.jhtml

The figure there for cremations matches the figure from The Japan Times:

1585693429745.png

So where does 13,856 come from? And why did Bloomberg do "calculations based on data" when the figure's right there?

The Bloomberg Article also now ends with this:

1585693801078.png

I wonder what figures the previous version of the story used? Probably the one still online at Time, syndicated (?) from Bloomberg, which matches versions above:

1585694012979.png
Source: https://time.com/5811222/wuhan-coronavirus-death-toll/
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
So where does 13,856 come from? And why did Bloomberg do "calculations based on data" when the figure's right there?
Okay, I got it: even though the Wuhan report is titled "Statistics for 4th Quarter", the cremation figures are actually cumulative for the year to date. So if you click on "1st Quarter" you get 14,700, and then 29,625 and 42,151 for the 2nd and 3rd Quarters respectively.

That's where the 13,856 figure comes from, and it appears to be right. Which alters things considerably.

(These figures, by the way, are published around two months after the end of the quarter - so some time in the latter part of May for the 1st Quarter of this year, if that holds true.)
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Is this story on Radio Free Asia the source of many of the "crematoriums busier than official figures say" features?

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/wuhan-deaths-03272020182846.html
Hmm.
This would be obvious if those people were not, in fact, infected. People who die of "old age" die at home, without being diagnosed with Covid-19.

This alone gives ~20000 deaths per quarter, and that's what I got when I estimated it from 11 million inhabitants and 0.74% yearly death rate.
I don't know where the discrepancy comes from, either the UN death rate for China is wrong for Wuhan, or Wuhan processes bodies from outside the city as well. I'm assuming not everyone gets cremated, maybe?

"Radio Free Asia was founded and funded in the 1950s by an organization called "Committee for Free Asia" as an anti-communist propaganda operation". "RFA is funded by an annual federal grant from and administered by the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which also serves as RFA's corporate board of directors. " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Free_Asia
 

Rory

Senior Member.
"The city's crematoriums typically cremated around 220 people a day," he said.

This alone gives ~20000 deaths per quarter.
I wonder if they work five or seven days a week? A five-day week equals around 14,000 cremations per quarter, which matches the official figures.
 

Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
I think the primary thing to keep in mind is the fact that the Chinese Govt is notorious for doing whatever it takes to "save face." They're no different, in many respects, to the Russian Govt during the Cold War when it comes to information getting out of the country. The People's Republic has arrested Chinese reporters for not towing the official state story and has ousted western reporters for the same reason. There's no reason to believe China is being forthright with the total number of infections, or the number of re-infections let alone the number of deaths because they've proven, time and again, to be unreliable. Look at what was going on in the early stages of the pandemic. Total lockdowns, people being barricaded into their homes by the state police, schools being doused with disinfectants WHILE the kids and teachers are still in the class rooms.... all while the official story was "its ok, its all under control, its not as bad as it seems."

There are HUGE reasons for China to do damage control and keep the numbers down, and chief among those is financial. China's economy relies on western companies to keep its wheels turning... if there's a resurgence of Covid 19, or the death toll is WAY higher than what theyve released then their business partners are going to panic and pull out JUST like investors are doing at the NYSE, TSX and others. The Chinese economy will COMPLETELY crash if there's a mass pull out, which means they'll be screwed six ways from Sunday dealing with the pandemic, which will then result in MORE cases and more re-infections because they wont have the monetary infrastructure to deal with it.

I'm not saying China is a mustache twirling baddie here, but it makes absolute logical sense that they would do everything they could to downplay the seriousness of the outbreak. Keep in mind China doesnt EXACTLY have its people's best interests at heart... it has the Party's best interests at heart. China is STILL China, they still have the same Human Rights issues theyve always had, and they still trample all over their own people to do whatever is best for the government, even if that means lying to the rest of the world. I have zero reason to trust the numbers coming out of China, ESPECIALLY when the models we're using to predict the curve of the virus (and have been reasonably accurate) show that the numbers we're getting from china do NOT match up.... and not just by a small margin.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
when the models we're using to predict the curve of the virus (and have been reasonably accurate) show that the numbers we're getting from china do NOT match up.... and not just by a small margin.
Could you elaborate on that?

Also, can we pin down the claim?
Is it
  1. During the February outbreak, there were more Covid-19 related deaths in Wuhan than officially reported, because
    a) China knowingly provided false numbers?
    b) China abstained from diagnosing Covid-19 deaths in an effort to keep the reported numbers low?
  2. There is significant endemic transmission of Covid-19 in China right now, despite government claims?
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...ronavirus-for-first-time-since-outbreak-began
 
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Trailspotter

Senior Member.
I have zero reason to trust the numbers coming out of China, ESPECIALLY when the models we're using to predict the curve of the virus (and have been reasonably accurate) show that the numbers we're getting from china do NOT match up.... and not just by a small margin.
These are still useful data. Science magazine yesterday published a report by the international group of scientists on
The article is also available in PDF format:
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/early/2020/03/30/science.abb6105.full.pdf
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I think the primary thing to keep in mind is the fact that the Chinese Govt is notorious for doing whatever it takes to "save face."
I would think the primary thing would be to look at the evidence, available data, and facts, as it relates to funeral urns, cremations, and coronavirus deaths in Wuhan.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I would think the primary thing would be to look at the evidence, available data, and facts, as it relates to funeral urns, cremations, and coronavirus deaths in Wuhan.
Agreed. The question "what would it take to change your mind?" is also useful.
 

Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
Could you elaborate on that?

Also, can we pin down the claim?
Is it
  1. During the February outbreak, there were more Covid-19 related deaths in Wuhan than officially reported, because
    a) China knowingly provided false numbers?
    b) China abstained from diagnosing Covid-19 deaths in an effort to keep the reported numbers low?
The outbreak began in China’s Hubei province in late 2019, but the country has publicly reported only about 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That compares to more than 189,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths in the U.S., which has the largest publicly reported outbreak in the world.

...

While China eventually imposed a strict lockdown beyond those of less autocratic nations, there has been considerable skepticism of China’s reported numbers, both outside and within the country. The Chinese government has repeatedly revised its methodology for counting cases, for weeks excluding people without symptoms entirely, and only on Tuesday added more than 1,500 asymptomatic cases to its total.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...7k2o5NqEPoji7MIQ_4Bch3rrP0YPzgEaHEvBqlT3tznek

This is what I'm referring to @Mendel. The outbreak started late last year (November) and they didnt start letting anyone know until February THIS year once it had gotten insane... this means the rest of the medical world had to play catch up to find out just how virulent the disease actually was. Had this outbreak occurred in the West, Medical professionals around the world would have known about it and would have begun working on trying to find a way to combat it because the press would have reported the outbreaks whether local governments liked it or not. This is where the distrust comes from, and why there's such a push for the urns to be an indicator of how bad it truly is.

The hid the outbreak from the beginning, they down played the number of infected which then allowed hundreds or thousands of people to infect 10s of thousands more because it took months to catch up to what the chinese govt already knew about the infectious nature... all of which was to save face. Logically speaking WHY should we believe the numbers China is putting out especially now that we're looking at a world wide economic collapse from all the shut downs? They need money just like the rest of the world and since they were first, theyve been dealing with the economic fallout MUCH longer than the rest of the world. Again, I'm not trying to sound like I'm wearing a tin foil hat and pushing conspiracies.. this is all just very basic logical extrapolation based on previous patterns (SARS, H1N1 etc).

P.S.

The model I was referring to is the johns hopkins link from the bloomberg quote above.
 

DavidB66

Active Member
I have noticed several media reports on this subject, but refrained from commenting here as the media concerned (Fox News, Daily Mail, Voice of America, etc) might not be considered reliable. I don't think Time magazine is quite such a dubious source, so I will give a link to an article here:

https://time.com/5813628/china-coronavirus-statistics-wuhan/

A figure of more than 40,000 cremations in less than a month, if correct, would be far more than the expected 'normal' level of deaths in the area.

However, I note that one of the issues mentioned in the article - that people dying outside hospital, in their own homes or residential institutions, are probably not included in the official COVID-19 death figures - is not confined to China. It has been pointed out in the UK that the Department of Health daily statistics only refer to deaths of people 'hospitalised', and there may be substantial numbers also occurring in residential care homes. Some such cases have already been reported in death certificates giving COVID-19 as a cause or contributory cause of death. Residents in care homes in the UK are almost always very elderly (about 90% are aged 75 or older, and about 60% are 85 or older) , usually suffering from dementia and/or other problems, and in normal circumstances if they develop a respiratory infection they would not be considered suitable for emergency treatment in hospital. We all have to go some time.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...7k2o5NqEPoji7MIQ_4Bch3rrP0YPzgEaHEvBqlT3tznek

This is what I'm referring to @Mendel. The outbreak started late last year (November) and they didnt start letting anyone know until February THIS year once it had gotten insane... this means the rest of the medical world had to play catch up to find out just how virulent the disease actually was. Had this outbreak occurred in the West, Medical professionals around the world would have known about it and would have begun working on trying to find a way to combat it because the press would have reported the outbreaks whether local governments liked it or not. This is where the distrust comes from, and why there's such a push for the urns to be an indicator of how bad it truly is.

The hid the outbreak from the beginning, they down played the number of infected which then allowed hundreds or thousands of people to infect 10s of thousands more because it took months to catch up to what the chinese govt already knew about the infectious nature... all of which was to save face. Logically speaking WHY should we believe the numbers China is putting out especially now that we're looking at a world wide economic collapse from all the shut downs? They need money just like the rest of the world and since they were first, theyve been dealing with the economic fallout MUCH longer than the rest of the world. Again, I'm not trying to sound like I'm wearing a tin foil hat and pushing conspiracies.. this is all just very basic logical extrapolation based on previous patterns (SARS, H1N1 etc).

P.S.
The model I was referring to is the johns hopkins link from the bloomberg quote above.
Your claims are provably FALSE.
https://www.who.int/csr/don/05-january-2020-pneumonia-of-unkown-cause-china/en/
The disease was discovered in December, and later investigations discovered that the first person may have contracted the virus as early as November - but in November, nobody knew about it.
The Chinese very quickly identified the virus and put its genetic fingerprint online, including on the NCBI server in Baltimore.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/MN908947.1
And by January 13th, the German research hospital Charite in Berlin had published a test for this virus, and made it available to everyone.
Here's what these German researchers say: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6988269/
https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/protocol-v2-1.pdf?sfvrsn=a9ef618c_2
Germany had a working test for the virus mid-January, identified its first outbreak later that month, and two studies of the people who got infected then just came out on the Lancet and Nature pre-print servers. The WHO had the message out, every epidemiologist in the world knew about this.

The Chinese initially only counted people who had a test done (as does everyone else), but they ran low on tests at one point, and then decided to also count people who had been diagnosed clinically, e.g. with a lung x-ray; that could theoretically have been some other virus causing it, but in Wuhan, it clearly had to be the new virus. That's why the numbers took a jump in February: because they added bunch of patients that didn't have lab tests done.

Your link leads to the Johns Hopkins dashboard that reports the number of cases in each country. I don't see any "model" there, can you help me out? Maybe a screenshot? I see nothing wrong with it.

-----

Here's news from China:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...ions-tallies-asymptomatic-cases-idUSKBN21J47I
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
However, I note that one of the issues mentioned in the article - that people dying outside hospital, in their own homes or residential institutions, are probably not included in the official COVID-19 death figures - is not confined to China. It has been pointed out in the UK that the Department of Health daily statistics only refer to deaths of people 'hospitalised', and there may be substantial numbers also occurring in residential care homes.
Do you think that the number of Covid-19 cases in the elderly in China is generally under-reported, or just the deaths? Because the case fatality rate that China has reported for the old and very old matches what we're seeing elsewhere so far (except maybe Italy).

The big problem is that we lack solid evidence for the deaths and cremations.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/soc...aims-inaccurate-coronavirus-death-tally-wuhan
 

DavidB66

Active Member
There was an article in yesterday's Daily Telegraph in the UK (11 April) by the paper's China correspondent, Sophia Yan, who recently visited Wuhan. The article is paywalled, but I screencapped a couple of pages:
Screenshot (65).pngScreenshot (66).png

Of course, this is 'anecdotal', but consistent with some previous reports.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
14700 per quarter, divide by 13 gives 1130 per week, divide by 5 gives 226 per day, divide by 8 gives 28 per day per crematorium. The "two dozen per day" checks out.

The official deaths are at ~3000.
We've been generalizing, but all of the reports talk about a single crematorium. Is it possible that they designated only one of the eight crematoriums for Covid-19 processing, for confirmed and suspected deaths with the virus?

I'm not really sure what to make of the tale of the cleaner's mother. Clearly, she had pneumonia, it looks like she wasn't ventilated, but we don't learn if she was ever tested, or what she was diagnosed with. We are told she was treated as an outpatient, and then we learn "she only returned home two weeks ago". I don't understand what is going on there.

Grieving families not allowed to visit burials is happening in New York, on Hart Island. The only pictures I have seen of these seem to have been sneaked with a drone.
The Bloomberg article that DavidB66 quotes in the OP says, "The long lines and stacks of ash urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan". So some people are being buried by family?
German regulations now, because of social distancing, are that burials can only take place in a small family circle. If you have a big extended family, I could imagine people complaining that they're not allowed to attend.

The most likely case, in my opinion, is that they have a large number of excess deaths that have never been diagnosed with Covid-19 because they ran out of capacity, or perhaps people who died alone and didn't go to any doctor. That would explain an excess number of deaths without assuming a coverup taking place.

Obviously, there might be a cover-up, but I think the evidence for that is not that compelling, and I still don't see the motivation for it. If China had failed to contain the virus spread inside Wuhan, we'd be looking at hundreds of thousands of bodies, so I'd assume they did.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-52321529

So, the initial report was for 3500 urns, and now we have 3869 fatalities.
Is the Chinese statement available in English online?

---

Btw, the BBC article I cited above has this bit of misinformation:
Contrast this with the WHO information:
https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08-04-2020-who-timeline---covid-19
 
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