Chinese President Xi Jinping leads national mourning for COVID-19 victims

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday led a national mourning for the people who lost their lives in the coronavirus pandemic, that originated in the city of Wuhan last December.

Xi, accompanied by Premier Li Keqiang and other senior Chinese government officials, stood in silence in the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing at 10 a.m., reports Xinhua news agency.

The commemoration lasted for three minutes.

They had white flowers pinned to their chest and paid a silent tribute in front of a national flag, flying at half-mast.

A moment of silence was observed by members of the public across the country.

Air raid sirens blared, while cars, trains and ships honked.

Although the pandemic originated in China, other countries like the US and Italy have surpassed the Asian giant in terms of both deaths and cases.

According to figures from the Washington-based Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE), China reported 82,518 cornfirmed cases with 3,330 deaths.

Currently, the US has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world at 277,953 and has registered 7,152 deaths, with New York, the epicentre of the pandemic in the country, accounting for 1,867 of the total count, the CSSE figures showed.

Italy accounts for the highest number of deaths at 14,681, while in terms of cases, it comes second after the US with 119,827 infections.

Spain has the third highest number of cases and the second largest death toll at 119,199 and 11,198, respectively.

Globally, the overall number of of infections has increased to 1,099,389, with 58,901 deaths, while 226,603 people have recovered from the disease.

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