Hong Kong is facing a shortage of coffins and ritual offerings from mainland China in the wake of a week-long Covid-19 lockdown in neighbouring Shenzhen, further affecting funeral services in the city.
With cross-border traffic restricted since the lockdown began on Monday, funeral service industry leaders in Hong Kong said it was very difficult for mainland-made coffins to be delivered to the city.
They said they were worried this would increase costs for coming funerals and potentially slow down afterlife care services as bodies would remain longer at mortuaries and crematoriums used less.
The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said it had ordered about 180 coffins from the mainland to be delivered to Hong Kong in the next two days via land and sea.
“But what about that week or so before these shipped coffins arrive? We can’t operate on a coffin vacuum here,” Kwok Hoi-bong, chairman of the Funeral Business Association industry group, said.
Hong Kong has been facing a daily average of 200 to 250 coronavirus-related deaths since early this week.
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