China celebrates national day of mourning today

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China celebrates a national day of mourning today

Chinese flag at half mast / Reuters
Chinese flag at half mast. 

Relatives of the deceased in Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic, will not be able to go to cemeteries to honour their loved ones

China has declared an official day of mourning for this Saturday. Coinciding with the celebration of the Qingming Festival, similar to All Saints, the country will dawn with the flags at half-staff. At ten in the morning, its citizens will keep three minutes of silence that will be broken by the deafening sound of anti-aircraft sirens. The horns of vehicles and the horns of boats and trains will also be added. The Asian giant wants to pay tribute to the 3,322 deaths from the coronavirus, whom the official Xinhua news agency refers to as “martyrs.”

However, Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, will experience its saddest Qingming because those close to the dead will not be able to go to cemeteries to sweep the graves, as tradition dictates. Although the capital of Hubei is recovering normality, before allowing the free movement of its residents, next Wednesday, the restrictions on the congregation of people still stand. Some in the city complain that they have been unable to properly honour their loved ones because of the hasty manner in which their cremation has been decreed. However, the ‘South China Morning Post’ collects the testimony of a woman who claims they have received 3,000 yuan (400 euros) in compensation.

In any case, the Government recommends using different mobile applications to pay virtual homage to loved ones. Cemeteries have been built throughout the country, although each city establishes its own rules, and many do allow physical access. In Shanghai, for example, family members will be able to visit graves and niches in small numbers and with prior online registration. From March 28 and until the next day 12, 685,000 people will visit the 54 cemeteries of the economic capital of China. Of course, they must come protected by masks and gloves, record their body temperature and provide their mobile phone so that the authorities can contact them in case any contagion is detected.

Thirty-one new infections

In this regard, China reported on Friday that 31 new SARS-CoV-2 infections were detected on Thursday. Twenty-nine of them were imported from other countries, and the two locations were registered in the provinces of Liaoning – northeast – and Guangdong – southeast. The number of deceased increased by four people. They are, without a doubt, hopeful numbers, and epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan is convinced that the country could claim victory in the first battle against the coronavirus later this month. For her part, the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, assured that the Asian giant is being transparent and has dismissed as “rascals and immoral the accusations of having lied in the official figures released by the United States.

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