-By Radio Free Asia
COVID deaths are surging in Tibetan areas of China after strict lockdowns aimed at controlling the spread of the disease were ended by Chinese authorities in early December, Tibetan sources say.
More than 100 people have died in Tibet’s capital Lhasa since restrictions under Beijing’s zero-COVID policy were lifted on Dec. 7 following widespread protests across China, a source living in Tibet said.
“On Jan. 2 alone, 64 bodies were cremated at the Drigung Cemetery in Maldro Gongkar, with 30 cremated at the Tsemonling Cemetery, 17 at the Sera Cemetery, and another 15 cremated at a cemetery in Toelung Dechen,” the source said.
“Before this, only 3 to 4 bodies were cremated each day at these cemeteries in the Lhasa area,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
Tibetans have also died of COVID in the Ngaba, Sangchu, Kardze and Lithang areas of the western Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai, other sources said, with so many bodies brought to Ngaba’s Kirti monastery in Sichuan that some were laid out to feed the vultures.
10 monks die
Another source in Tibet said that 15 elderly Tibetans had died from Dec. 7 to Jan. 3 in Ngaba county’s Meruma village alone. “But the Chinese government hasn’t offered any testing sites or facilities providing timely medical treatment, which is very concerning,” the source added.
“We are seeing 10 to 15 bodies brought to Kirti monastery every day so that monks can provide last rites. But around 10 Kirti monks, mostly elderly or having underlying health problems, have also died during the last four days,” the source said.
Many have also fallen ill after joining large gatherings to pray for the dead and infected, other sources said. Click here to read more.