China to honour the dead with anti-aircraft sirens at saddest Qingming festival
Relatives of the deceased in Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic, will not be able to go to cemeteries to honour their loved ones
China has declared an official day of mourning tomorrow. Coinciding with the celebration of Qingming festival, similar to All Saints, the country will dawn with the flags at half-mast. At ten in the morning, its citizens will keep three minutes of silence that will be broken by the loud sound of anti-aircraft sirens. The horns of vehicles and the horns of boats and trains will also be added. The Asian giant wants to perform like this tribute to the 3,322 deaths from the coronavirus epidemic, whom the official Xinhua news agency refers to as “martyrs.”
However, Wuhan, the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, will experience its saddest Qingming because those close to the dead will not be able to go to cemeteries to sweep the graves, as tradition dictates. Although the capital of Hubei is recovering normality before allowing the free movement of its residents, next Wednesday, restrictions on the congregation of people still stand. Some in the city complain that they have been unable to properly honour their loved ones because of the hasty manner in which their cremation has been decreed. However, the South China Morning Post collects the testimony of a woman who claims they have received 3,000 yuan. (400 euros) in compensation.
In any case, the Government recommends using different mobile applications to pay virtual homage to loved ones. Cemeteries have been built throughout the country, although each city establishes its own rules, and many do allow physical access. In Shanghai, for example, family members will be able to visit graves and niches in small numbers and after registering online. From the 28th until the 12th, 685,000 people will visit the 54 cemeteries of the economic capital of China. Of course, they must come protected by masks and gloves, record their body temperature, and provide their mobile phone so that the Authorities can contact them in case any contagion is detected.
In this regard, China reported today that 31 new SARS-CoV-2 infections were detected yesterday. Twenty-nine of them were imported from other countries, and the two locations were registered in the provinces of Liaoning – northeast – and Guangdong – southeast. The number of deceased increased by four people. These are undoubtedly hopeful numbers, and epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan is convinced that the country could claim victory in the first battle against the coronavirus later this month. For her part, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, has assured that the Asian giant is being transparent and has dismissed as “rascal and immoral the accusations of having lied in the official figures released by the United States.