China has decided to commemorate the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) victims declaring a day of national mourning on April 4th, 2020.
The country will hold mourning events for coronavirus “martyrs”, including the ‘whistleblower’ doctor Li Wenliang, who sacrificed their lives in the fight against the deadly virus outbreak.
“The State Council decided to hold national mourning events on April 4 to express deepest condolences of our multinational people over the ‘fallen heroes,’ who sacrificed their lives to fight the epidemic of the novel coronavirus, as well as the deceased compatriots,” the State Council said in a statement.
On April 4th, 2020, all Chinese flags in the state as well as in all the country’s missions across the globe will be dipped. All entertainment events across China have been cancelled.
At 10 am on April 4th, 2020, the people across China will observe three minutes of silence to mourn the deceased. Air raid sirens and horns of automobiles, trains and ships will wail in grief.
14 frontline workers in Central China’s Hubei Province, including Dr Wenliang, were identified as martyrs on April 2nd, 2020 for sacrificing their lives while fighting against coronavirus.
Dr Wenliang, an ophthalmologist was one of the eight “whistleblowers” who tried to warn his colleagues and other medical workers of the coronavirus outbreak. However, he was reprimanded by the local police. He died on February 7th, 2020 after contracting COVID-19.
It may be mentioned, Saturday (April 4) also marks China’s Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day.
Qingming Festival is when Chinese people traditionally visit ancestral tombs to sweep them. It is a tradition for the Chinese people to pay respect to their ancestors, deceased family members and national heroes and martyrs on the day of the festival.
The Qingming Festival has been observed by the Chinese for over 2500 years. It became a public holiday in mainland China in 2008.
The young and old alike kneel down to offer prayers before tombstones of the ancestors, offer the burning of joss in both the forms of incense sticks (joss-sticks) and silver-leafed paper (joss-paper), sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, chopsticks, and/or libations in memory of the ancestors.
China held its last national day of mourning in May 2008 for the victims of the Wenchuan Earthquake in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, which killed more than 69,000 people.
China registered four deaths, 29 new imported cases of COVID-19 and two cases of internal transmission on April 2nd, 2020.