China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silence

China mourns Covid-19 victims with three-minute silence
The silence was observed in Wuhan, where the virus originated late last year. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: China has mourned the victims of Covid-19 by observing a three-minute silence, bringing the nation to a halt.

On Saturday, a day of remembrance was declared in China to honor the more than 3,300 people who died due to the coronavirus outbreak.

People stood still sharp at 10.00 local time (3.00 GMT) nationwide for three minutes in tribute to the dead.

Ships, cars, trains then sounded their horns, air raid sirens rang as flags were flown at half-mast.

The coronavirus outbreak, which became global pandemic later, was originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province late last year.

In Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, all traffic lights in urban areas were turned red at 10:00, ceasing traffic for three minutes.

At least 14 medical workers were died battling the virus. China’s government called them “martyrs”. The government said the event was a chance to pay respects to “martyrs”.

China came to a standstill during the three-minute silence at 10:00 local time. Source: Getty Images

The government also remembered Li Wenliang, a doctor in Wuhan who died of Covid-19 after being reprimanded by the authorities for attempting to warn others about the disease.

“I feel a lot of sorrow about our colleagues and patients who died. I hope they can rest well in heaven,” a Chinese nurse who treated coronavirus patients told AFP news agency.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other government officials paid silent tribute in Beijing, wearing white flowers pinned to their chest.

Saturday’s commemorations coincide with the annual Qingming festival when millions of Chinese families pay respects to their ancestors.

On 31 December last year, China first informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about cases of pneumonia with unknown causes.

The virus was spreading at an alarming rate. By 18 January, the confirmed number of cases had risen to around 60 – but experts estimated the real figure was closer to 1,700.

Just two days later, when millions of Chinese people prepared to travel for the lunar new year, the number of cases more than tripled to more than 200 and the virus was detected in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, which sent strong signals to the authorities that the virus is spreading across China.

From that point, the virus started to spread rapidly in Asia and then Europe, eventually reaching every corner of the globe.

Covid-19, the decease caused by the novel coronavirus, has claimed more than 58,000 lives worldwide.

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