Coronavirus: China to stage day of mourning on Saturday for thousands killed by Covid-19

04-Apr-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The Chinese government has declared Saturday a national day of mourning for those who lost their lives in the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese flags will be flown at half-mast across the country and at embassies overseas, while all public entertainment will be halted for the day, the State Council said in a notice on Friday.

At the stroke of 10am, the public will be asked to observe a three-minute silence, during which sirens will blast out across the country and the owners of cars and boats should sound their vehicles’ horns, the notice said.

Saturday also coincides with the annual Ching Ming, or tomb-sweeping, festival, on which Chinese traditionally remember their lost loved ones

China will on Saturday hold a day of mourning for those killed by Covid-19, like Li Wenliang, the doctor who sought to alert the world to the disease.(EPA-EFE)

China will on Saturday hold a day of mourning for those killed by Covid-19, like Li Wenliang, the doctor who sought to alert the world to the disease.(EPA-EFE)

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While the event is usually a time for families to come together in large groups, Beijing has this year asked people to stay at home and pay their respects online so as to limit the risk of a fresh outbreak of infections.

The day of mourning will be the fourth in 12 years in China, after events were held to remember those lost in the Sichuan earthquake of May 2008, the Yushu quake in April 2010 and the Gansu landslide in August 2010.

Meanwhile, the government of Hubei the Chinese province at the centre of the initial coronavirus outbreak on Thursday named 14 local people who lost their lives to Covid-19 as martyrs.

Most notable among them was Li Wenliang, the doctor who was detained and disciplined by police in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, for trying to alert the local medical community via social media to the emergence of a new form of pneumonia he likened to Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

Li issued the warning in late December. Weeks later he contracted the disease and by early February he was dead.

His death sparked an outpouring of grief and outrage online as people called for greater freedom of speech.

Although Wuhan police later apologised to Li’s family and some of its officers were punished, the Communist Party did it best to distance itself from the matter.

A team of investigators that looked into how Li was treated told state media last month that “some hostile forces” had tried to use the doctor’s death to “attack the Communist Party and the Chinese government”.

As of Friday, more than 1 million people around the world had been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus, while close to 53,000 people had lost their lives to Covid-19.

On Wednesday, the lockdown that was placed on Wuhan more than two months ago will be lifted, allowing its residents to start the long and slow process of rebuilding their lives.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-china-stage-day-mourning-063235087.html

 


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