The Chinese government said it is to build a DNA database of those unidentified dead bodies after the disastrous Sichuan earthquake for later identification.
The government is going to cremate identified dead bodies and allow burial in those areas where cremation service is unavailable.
For those yet to be identified, the government said, police and medical workers will keep a numbered record, take pictures and collect body tissues for DNA tests. The police will manage the DNA database for future identification.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs, together with the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Health, issued a guidance to speed up dead body identification and treatment before possible rotten corpses contaminating areas where survivors are gathering.
The powerful tremor, eight degrees on the Richter scale, jolted eastern Sichuan Province on May 12, claiming at least 34,073 lives.
For the dead who are believed to be foreign citizens, the state-run China Funeral Association will take over, disinfect the bodies and keep them. Their relatives can contact the association, http://bzxh.mca.gov.cn.
(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2008)