Staff workers at the Babaoshan Cemetery send flowers and condolences for people who can't do on-site mourning to their deseased loved ones in Beijing on March 28, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
Civil affairs authorities will take more strict measures to regulate commemorative activities over the approaching Tomb Sweeping Day on Saturday to help contain the novel coronavirus pneumonia.
Nine provinces, including Central China’s Hubei province, have suspended on-site commemorative activities during the three-day holiday from Saturday to Monday, according to Fan Yu, vice-director of the Social Affairs Department under the Ministry of Civil Affairs at a news conference of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council on Wednesday.
She said that some provinces and cities require people to follow strict reservation rules for tomb sweeping.
"We hope that people who reserve on-site commemorative activities will obey the rules. For example, it’s required to arrive at the funeral parlor on time and get themselves checked on identification and body temperature," she said. "Raising fire prevention awareness is also important during the activities."
"It’s predicted that the number of people for on-site commemorative activities will decrease this year, also the traffic, but we still bear great pressure in preventing and controlling the coronavirus when offering them services," she said.
She said the ministry encourages people to mourn their ancestors and deceased family members in more civil and eco-friendly ways, such as organizing commemorative activities at home or online. Funeral parlors will offer diversified services to people over the holiday.
"Some civil affairs departments have opened online platforms for commemoration," she said. "Staff members at funeral parlors also offer charity services, for example, helping deliver flowers and send condolences, to reduce risks of infection due to mass gatherings."
"This Tomb Sweeping Day is quite different from previous ones because of the ongoing coronavirus pneumonia. The control measures may bring inconvenience to the public but we believe that cherishing the health of living people is the best consolation to the deceased," she said.