“I’ve by no means seen so many our bodies piled up collectively,” stated funeral director Lok Chung, 37, who has been working around the clock, with about 40 funerals organised in March, up from roughly 15 in a median month.
“I’ve by no means seen members of the family so upset, so disenchanted, so helpless,” Chung, carrying a sober gray go well with with a black polo T-shirt, informed Reuters.
For the reason that fifth wave of coronavirus hit the previous British colony this yr, it has reported greater than 1,000,000 infections and greater than 8,000 deaths.
Scenes of our bodies stacked in emergency rooms subsequent to sufferers have shocked many as locations in mortuaries have stuffed up.
An extended watch for dying paperwork to be processed has hindered work, added Chung, who rushed from a mortuary final week to make ultimate preparations for his newest COVID-19 affected person.
And the household of a lady who died on March 1 had been nonetheless ready for papers to allow them to declare her physique, he added.
Additionally working quick are the normal paper replicas of things, from vehicles to properties and different private results, which are burnt as choices at Chinese language funerals for the lifeless to make use of within the afterlife.
A lot of the delay is blamed on a logjam in transport from the neighbouring southern Chinese language metropolis of Shenzhen, which provides many gadgets, however is now preventing its personal COVID-19 outbreak.
The border with Hong Kong is basically closed as a result of illness.
Infections amongst employees at funeral parlours additionally pose a big problem, stated one other funeral director, Hades Chan, 31.
“Practically 1 / 4 of individuals aren’t capable of work. So some parlours must pool employees amongst themselves to maintain working.”
Housewife Kate, 36, stated the March dying of her father-in-law from COVID-19 took an enormous emotional toll on the household, and added that her largest remorse was being unable to go to him in hospital.
“After they thought he wasn’t going to make it, we rushed there, but it surely was too late,” the lady, who gave just one identify, informed Reuters as she choked again tears on the funeral ceremony.
“It’s solely now that we’re capable of see him one final time.”
China provides greater than 95% of the 250 to 300 coffins Hong Kong wants every day, stated metropolis meals and hygiene official Irene Younger.
It obtained greater than 3,570 coffins through the interval from March 14 to 26, after the federal government of the Chinese language-ruled metropolis coordinated with mainland authorities.
The six crematoriums now run virtually around the clock by Younger’s division carry out almost 300 cremations a day, or double the same old determine.
And public mortuaries have been expanded to accommodate 4,600 our bodies from 1,350 earlier, authorities stated.
Non-government outfit Overlook Thee Not has partnered with an eco-friendly coffin maker, LifeArt Asia, to donate 300 such coffins and 1,000 packing containers of preservative to 6 public hospitals.
Every coffin, made out of cardboard with recycled wooden fibres, can bear a weight as much as 200 kg (440 lb).
When put in coffins or physique luggage, the powder-like preservative turns to gasoline, to maintain the physique in its pure state for as much as 5 days.
“We’re within the eye of the storm,” stated LifeArt Asia’s chief govt, Wilson Tong. “And within the midst of this storm, we try to offer a second of respite.”