Home quarantine in China causes spike in divorce rates

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A couple wear face masks as they ride an escalator at a shopping mall in Beijing. — Courtesy photo

BEIJING — Millions of people across the world are settling into the new disrupted routines as the coronavirus began to uproot almost every facet of life.

One of the unexpected side effects of the outbreak in China is a spike in divorce rates, according to the local media. The Chinese city of Xi'an has seen a record-high number of divorce requests in recent weeks, Global Times reported last week.

Marriage registration offices in some districts of Xi'an, which is also the capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, have seen an unprecedented number of divorce appointments since it reopened, Sin Chew Daily reported this week.

Over 300 couples have scheduled appointments to get a divorce since Feb. 24, Lu Shijun, the manager of a marriage registry in Dazhou, Sichuan Province of south-western China, was quoted in the local press. “The divorce rate has soared compared to before [the coronavirus outbreak],” he added.

Couples spend too much time in home quarantine

This phenomenon could be caused by the prolonged time married couples are stuck at home following quarantine measures.

According to register offices across the country, couples are spending too much time together at home during coronavirus self-isolation. Some couples have been cooped up at home with each other for an entire month.

As members of the public began to return to work in Xi’an, 17 Civil Affairs Bureau offices in the city saw a rise in divorce petitions. Citing the China Business Gazette, some bureaus have divorce registrations packed full up to March 18. — Al Arabiya English


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