(Minghui.org) The COVID tsunami continues in China. Both Beijing and Shanghai have been hit hard, with sharp increases in seriously and critically ill patients overburdening hospitals and causing shortages of drugs and medical supplies. Many people are worried about “white lungs” and living in fear. As deaths have soared, crematories have reached capacity.

Beijing and Shanghai

According to the Associated Press, Chuiyangliu Hospital in Beijing was already crowded with the newly-arrived ill on January 5. The hospital ran out of beds that morning, but ambulances continued to arrive with more patients, mainly elderly. The later arrivals had to lie on stretchers or sit in wheelchairs in the hallways to get oxygen.

Reuters described what a witness saw at a hospital in the Qingpu District in Shanghai on January 5. Many of the ill were in hospital beds in the corridors of the emergency department or near the main lobby. Most of them were elderly, and several were connected to oxygen tanks. A bulletin board showed the average wait time to be seen was five hours. After announcing the death of an elderly patient, a hospital employee attached a paper slip to the body on the floor stating the cause of death cause was “breathing failure.”

Crematories Overwhelmed

In one video circulated on the internet on January 5, many bones of the deceased were not fully incinerated before they were unethically disposed of at Zhumadian Funeral Home in Zhumadian City, Henan Province. “This is Zhumadian Funeral Home. Look at these ashes! There are still piles of vertebrae,” said one voice in the video. “Even the flesh was not fully cremated.” “See these bones. They are not burned up—the vertebrae are all here.”

Another video showed the racks and floor of Anshan Funeral Home in Liaoning Province full of bodies waiting to be cremated. Local resident Sun told The Epoch Times on January 3 that many people she knew had died. The cause of death was recorded as “severe pneumonia,” not COVID.

Because there were too many bodies, Sun said that Anshan Funeral Home transferred a lot of them elsewhere for cremation. “They were sent to places like Hacheng, Liaoyang, and other places. One employee said they were incinerating dozens of bodies a day in the past, but now it is 300 a day. They take turns using nine of the over 10 furnaces at any given time so that the rest can cool down a bit—they don’t want to damage the furnaces,” Sun explained.

Crowded Hospitals

One netizen wrote that a 43-year-old neighbor died of COVID. One young woman who works at Liaoning Province Children’s Hospital in Shenyang said that between 20 and 30 children died in the facility every day during the recent COVID surge. Children in Shengjing Hospital in Shenyang, a facility renowned for obstetrics, also died. Some were 6 or 8 years old, the youngest only two months.

Other hospitals are crowded, too. “Reliable information about the subsequent wave of infection is hard to come by. The government admits to a significant increase in cases but official statistics are widely thought to understate the severity of the outbreak,” reported The Economist on January 5. “The picture is all too clear in big-city hospitals, however. One doctor says his wards are so overcrowded that he has had to perform emergency intubations in the corridor in full view of other COVID patients. In one case, blood clots started emerging from one man’s trachea as staff forced the tube in. A bystander exclaimed ‘My God!’ and covered his mouth, running away.”

Unreported Cases

A large number of people in Qingdao City, Shandong Province, have died recently, but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has not reported any of them. The Dashan Crematory in north Qingdao has been running it furnaces 24 hours a day, but there are many bodies still waiting to be cremated. The deceased were of all different ages with most of them seniors. One was a 27-year-old physical education teacher and sailing enthusiast from Canghai Elementary School School in the Licang District, who had been healthy all along but recently died. Although almost everyone had been vaccinated, infection rates in government agencies were over 80% and some infected employees had severe symptoms. According to the CCP-controlled media, the majority of Qingdao residents had received three doses of the vaccine.

In Weihai, another coastal city in Shandong Province, Jia Ligang, an oil painting instructor at Shandong University on the Weihai campus, died at 36 on December 27. The university’s obituary mentioned “fever,” but netizens speculated it was actually COVID. Liu Mingzu, former Party secretary of Inner Mongolia, also died in Weihai on December 28, according to Xinhua News Agency on January 6.

Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, said Chinese authorities had reported almost no COVID cases during the recent wave in December. When interviewed by VOA on January 6, he said data on COVID infections, hospitalizations, and deaths should be available through the Chinese CDC system. Even WHO faced serious challenges obtaining such information from China, and Murray doubted this situation would change despite international pressure. Without reliable data from China, he has “no confidence at all” regarding when this wave would end in China.