“Maybe the authorities are gradually releasing the real figures, intentionally or unintentionally, so that people will gradually come to accept the reality,” a Wuhan resident, who gave only his surname Mao, told Radio Free Asia.
A city source added that, based on the aggregation of funeral and cremation numbers, authorities likely know the real number and are keeping it under wraps.
“Every funeral home reports data on cremations directly to the authorities twice daily,” the source said. “This means that each funeral home only knows how many cremations it has conducted, but not the situation at the other funeral homes.”
The city began lifting its lockdown on Saturday after two months of mandatory shutdown, with a complete lift of restrictions set for April 8. Funeral homes in Wuhan have been handing out the cremated remains to families every day, but rumors began circulating after one funeral home received two shipments of 5,000 urns over the course of two days, according to photos reported by Chinese media outlet Caixin, which were later censored.