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China bans cemetery pictures amid surging Covid deaths in Tibet

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(TibetanReview.net, Jan12’23) – Amid unofficial reports of rising Covid-19 deaths, China has launched a clampdown on taking or sharing of pictures of any kind of cemeteries in Tibet in order to prevent the news from reaching the outside world, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Jan 11.

Deaths in the Tibetan areas of the People’s Republic of China have continued to climb after lockdowns aimed at controlling the spread of the pandemic infection were ended in early December, the report cited Tibetan sources as saying Jan 10.

The report said around 15 to 20 dead bodies were now being brought each day to a cemetery in Drigung in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and to other cemeteries in capital Lhasa, citing a local source. It was not clear what the normal rates of cremations in those cemeteries were.

However, the report quoted the source as saying, “The Chinese government has placed tight restrictions around the cemeteries in Lhasa. … People are not allowed to take pictures or videos of the scenes in the cemeteries or to share them.”

Four people, including two local government employees, were reported to have died in Dragyab county of TAR’s Chamdo prefecture on Jan 7.

The report also cited a local source, also requesting anonymity, as saying that in his area of Lithang county in Sichuan province’s Kardze prefecture, the crematorium has been overwhelmed by Jan 3.

The report cited other sources as saying bodies were now being brought in large numbers for funeral services to the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Sichuan province’s Serta county from nearby areas.

The dead were stated to be not only the vulnerable people like the elderly and people with underlying health issues, who constituted most of the fatalities, but also others believed to have recovered from the Covid infection but then died suddenly after their presumable recovery.

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