Shocking footage has emerged of paramedics carrying a young girl's body in rain-proof covers after she apparently starved to death during a coronavirus lockdown.
The video from the city of Xiaogan in Central China’s Hubei Province shows about seven members of staff dragging three separate rain covers out of an apartment.
A group of residents watch from a distance as the staff put the body into a vehicle.
The man says in the background: "Did you see that? There's a kid died of starvation in the Lisi neighbourhood.
"There's a foul smell when they carry her out with the plastic sheets.
"Doctors are coming to disinfect the area."
It is understood that the girl is about a year and a half years old and was living with her 29-year-old mum, known by the surname Deng.
Xiaogan Police were first alerted after officers noticed a foul smell in the home while they were delivering supplies to the flat on March 14.
They forced entry to the apartment and brought Ms Deng to the police station.
In the initial investigation led by the police, Ms Deng is believed to have raised the child on her own after a divorce.
The toddler was declared dead at the scene, but officials have not commented on her precise cause of death, which local reports say was due to starvation.
Ms Deng is not found to have suffered any mental illness, said the police.
Officers also found rice, vegetables, infant formulas in the apartment and working electricity, water and heating.
According to local resident Mr Huang, neighbourhood volunteers had closely monitored Ms Deng’s situation but were unable to provide effective social care.
Ms Deng had been supported by local volunteers, who regularly donated money, clothes and food to her, but the virus outbreak had made it difficult.
He said: “The developer who built our community went bankrupt 20 years ago. We’ve not had a managing authority in place since, and things only recently improved when a local government committee was established."
He said, though, that the committee had been struggling since the virus hit saying: "During the outbreak, the committee has been managing matters, but it comprises of low-level officials and volunteers."
Xiaogan, the city of 5million, has been on lockdown since 24th January, together with more than 50million others in the virus-hit province.
An investigation is ongoing.
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