China mourns thousands who died in country’s coronavirus epidemic

Published April 4, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Reuters

BEIJING/WUHAN, China – China on Saturday mourned the thousands of “martyrs” who have died in the new coronavirus outbreak, flying the national flag at half mast throughout the country and suspending all forms of entertainment.

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The Chinese national flag flies at half-mast at the headquarters of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank (PBOC), as China holds a national mourning for those who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the Qingming tomb-sweeping festival in Beijing, China April 4, 2020. (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins / MANILA BULLETIN)

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The Chinese national flag flies at half-mast at the headquarters of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank (PBOC), as China holds a national mourning for those who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the Qingming tomb-sweeping festival in Beijing, China April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
The day of mourning coincided with the start of the annual Qingming tomb-sweeping festival, when millions of Chinese families pay respects to their ancestors.

At 10 a.m. (0200 GMT) Beijing time, the country observed three minutes of silence to mourn those who died, including frontline medical workers and doctors. Cars, trains and ships sounded their horns and air raid sirens wailed.

In Zhongnanhai, the seat of political power in Beijing, President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders paid silent tribute in front of the national flag, with white flowers pinned to their chest as a mark of mourning, state media reported.

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More than 3,300 people in mainland China have died in the epidemic, which first surfaced in the central province of Hubei late last year, according to statistics published by the National Health Commission.

In Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and the epicentre of the outbreak, all traffic lights in urban areas turned red at 10 a.m. and all road traffic ceased for three minutes.

Some 2,567 people have died in Wuhan, a megacity of 11 million people located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze river. The Wuhan deaths account for more than 75% of the country’s fatalities.

Among those who died was Li Wenliang, a young doctor who tried to raise the alarm about the disease. Li was honoured by the Hubei government earlier this week, after initially being reprimanded by police in Wuhan for “spreading rumours”.

 
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