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China holds three minutes of silence for Covid-19 victims

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China held three minutes of silence during Tomb Sweeping Day on Saturday for people who have died in the coronavirus outbreak.

During the national mourning event, national flags across China and at Chinese embassies and consulates abroad were lowered to half-mast, and public entertainment activities halted.

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The three minutes of silence started on time at 10 am (0200 GMT).

At the same time, car horns honked, trains and ships sounded their whistles, and air defence alarms went off.

The event is intended to honour “martyrs and dead compatriots killed in the fight against the new coronavirus epidemic,” the State Council said on Friday.

Tomb Sweeping Day is an annual Chinese holiday during which families gather to honour their ancestors and clean their tombs.

However, with restrictions in place to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading, this year many provinces asked residents not to make the pilgrimage to the graves but to honour the dead from home.

So far, China has counted more than 80,000 coronavirus cases including more than 3,000 deaths, according to authorities.

No fewer than 76,000 patients have so far recovered.

Cases worldwide have surpassed one million, and deaths exceeded 50,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.


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