China plans to mourn coronavirus 'martyrs'

China will hold a day of national mourning for coronavirus victims, as officials fear a second wave.
China will hold a day of national mourning for coronavirus victims, as officials fear a second wave.

China will hold a day of national mourning on Saturday for "martyrs" who died in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic,.

The official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday that a three minute silence will be observed on April 4 across the country "while air raid sirens and horns of automobiles, trains and ships will wail in grief."

Meanwhile a top official in Wuhan, the epicentre of China's coronavirus epidemic warned residents to strengthen self-protection measures and avoid going out to avoid a resurgence of infections.

Wang Zhonglin, Wuhan's Communist Party chief, said the risk of a rebound in the city's coronavirus epidemic remained high due to both internal and external risks and that it must continue to maintain prevention and control measures.

China appears to have curbed the epidemic through draconian travel and transport restrictions that paralysed the country and its economy for two months.

The mainland has seen its daily case figures drop sharply from the height of the crisis in February, allowing Beijing to push the country's industries to go back to work.

Top officials remain concerned about the risk of a second wave, however, as dozens of new COVID-19 cases involving travellers from overseas continue to be reported each day.

China has reported a total of 81,589 confirmed cases, which exclude asymptomatic patients, and 3,318 deaths from the outbreak. Worldwide, the number of cases has topped 1 million, with at least 52,000 deaths.

Australian Associated Press