søndag 12. april 2020

As Wuhan emerges from coronavirus lockdown, residents are finally lining up to bury their dead

Minutes after Wuhan reopened its borders at midnight Wednesday, after a 76-day lockdown, Zhang Hai got in his car and left the city where he lost his father to the novel coronavirus. "My heart was broken in Wuhan," he said of his hometown in central China, the original epicenter of the now global pandemic. "Inside, I'm filled with grief, and anger."

Less than three months ago, the 50-year-old had driven the 700 miles from the country's southern coast to Wuhan with his father Zhang Lifang, who needed treatment for his broken leg.His father had retired in Wuhan, and enjoyed free medical treatment in the city. The surgery went smoothly. But Zhang Lifang was infected with Covid-19 while recovering in hospital. He was diagnosed on January 30 and died two days later, aged 76.

"Because I didn't know how bad the outbreak was in Wuhan, I took my father there -- it was basically sending him to death. Whenever I think of it, I am overwhelmed by remorse and anger," he said Wednesday, on his long drive back to Shenzhen, where he lived with his father. But Zhang will have to return to Wuhan -- because his father's remains are stored at a funeral home in the city.