The Chinese national flag flies at half-mast in Beijing as China holds a national mourning for coronavirus victims. Reuters
With air raid sirens wailing and flags at half-mast, China on Saturday held a three-minute nationwide moment of reflection to honour those who have died in the coronavirus outbreak, especially "martyrs” who fell while fighting what has become a global pandemic.
Commemorations took place at 10am in all major cities, but were particularly poignant in Wuhan, the industrial center where the virus was first detected in December.
Wuhan was placed under complete lockdown on Jan. 23 in an effort to stem the spread of the virus and has been lauded as a "heroic city” by the nation’s communist leadership for the sacrifices made by its 11 million citizens.
People have gradually been allowed to travel in and out of Wuhan under strict conditions. The quarantine on the city is to be formally lifted on Wednesday.
In Beijing, President Xi Jinping led other top officials, all dressed in black suits with white carnations, as they bowed before a flag at half-mast in the leadership compound of Zhongnanhai.
On Saturday, China reported one new confirmed case in Wuhan and 18 among people arriving from abroad, along with four new deaths, all in Wuhan. China now has recorded a total of 81,639 cases and 3,326 deaths, although those figures are generally considered to be understated because of a lack of testing and a reluctance to report the scale of the original outbreak.
More than 570 people have been infected with the coronavirus across China and Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak, has been placed under effective quarantine.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention announced a new case of Coronavirus infection in the country, and added that the patient was stable and under medical care.
Several political leaders and even others, including doctors and researchers, have pinned hope that the virus would not be this deadly with the arrival of summer.
The group were travelling through Badakshan province to assist security forces in the area, officials said. A local commander was among the fatalities, provincial governor's spokesman Sanaullah Rohani told the media.
The lockdown is now largely being enforced in high-risk areas while authorities have partially restored train services and domestic flights and allowed shops and manufacturing to reopen.
Sharjah Police once again has come to the rescue of residents who were stranded on a highway when their vehicle had a flat tyre.
In Victoria in Australia's southeast, which is still battling outbreaks of the new coronavirus and where social distancing rules allow for gatherings of no more than 20 people, health authorities were urging people not to attend the rallies.