Nation falls silent to remember Covid-19 victims - RTHK
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Nation falls silent to remember Covid-19 victims

2020-04-04 HKT 10:22
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  • Nation falls silent to remember Covid-19 victims
China came to a standstill on Saturday to mourn patients and medical staff killed by the coronavirus, with the world's most populous country observing a nationwide three-minute silence.

People and traffic stopped in the street as air-raid sirens and car horns sounded in memory of the more than 3,300 lives claimed by the virus on the mainland.

In Hong Kong, government departments are also flying the national and SAR flags at half-mast, with the Chief Executive, her cabinet and the Legislative Council president observing a three-minute silence at the Chief Executive's Office at 10am.

The day of mourning coincided with the start of the annual Ching Ming, or Qingming, tomb-sweeping festival, when millions of families pay respects to their ancestors.

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

Some 2,567 people have died in the city of 11 million people, accounting for more than 75 per cent of the mainland's coronavirus fatalities, officials figures show.

Authorities in Wuhan banned all tomb sweeping activities in its cemeteries until at least April 30. They have also told residents, most stuck at home due to lockdown restrictions, to use online streaming services which will allow them to watch cemetery staff carrying out those tasks live.

Online, celebrities including "X-Men: Days of Future Past" star Fan Bingbing swapped their glamourous social media profile pictures for sombre photos in grey or black, garnering millions of "likes" from fans.

Chinese gaming and social media giant Tencent suspended all online games on Saturday.

As of Friday, the total number of nationally confirmed cases stood at 81,639, including 19 new infections, the National Health Commission said.

Eighteen of the new cases involved travellers arriving from abroad. The remaining one new infection was a local case was in Wuhan, a patient who was previously asymptomatic. (AFP/RTHK/Reuters)
Last updated: 2020-04-04 HKT 10:44