A Chinese city is facing a major, albeit unexpected, repercussion of COVID-19: Divorce.
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There has been an influx in divorce appointments within some districts of Xi'an, which is the capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, according to a recent report.
Recently, marriage registration offices began operating on an appointment system as the county works to eradicate the rapidly spreading virus, according to Global Times.
The appointments started to rake up in the beginning of March, about three months after the first case of the virus was detected in Wuhan, China.
By March 5, one of the offices had 14 divorce appointments scheduled, an official surnamed Wang of the registration office in Beilin district of Xi'an told the English-language daily newspaper.
"As a result of the epidemic, many couples have been bound with each other at home for over a month, which evoked the underlying conflicts, adding that the office had been closed for a month, therefore the office has seen an acutely increasing divorce appointment," Wang said.
Likewise, there is a rise in the number of people making divorce appointments at a separate office in the city's Yanta district.
"There is no vacancy for divorce appointments until March 18," an official of the office surnamed Han told the outlet.
Hans says these are impulsive divorces that result from being trapped at home for long periods of time, causing hidden conflicts to emerge. That said, Han noted that many of those regretted their decision soon afterward.
Wang told reporters some couples decided to remarry just as the ink began to dry on their divorce papers.
It usually takes a couple between 30- 40 minutes to get a marriage or divorce certificate, according to Wang who added that the office is sanitized before and after each couple.
As of Friday, there are at least 80,710 confirmed cases of the virus, an increase of 0.18 of a percent from Thursday, according to the World Health Organization. Worldwide, there were more than 99,000 cases and 3,400 deaths.