At 10 a.m. local time, people around the country stood still to mourn the victims of the disease. Image: REUTERS
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- China held a three-minute-long national moment of silence to honor victims of the novel coronavirus on 4 March.
- The national mourning coincided with Qingming Festival, or "Tomb-Sweeping Day", when people traditionally visit their ancestors' graves.
- This year, the Chinese government advised people against the practice to maintain social-distancing guidelines.
Life in China came to a complete standstill for three minutes on 4 March as people honored those who died of the novel coronavirus with a national moment of silence.
At 10 a.m. local time, people around the country paused their activities and stood still for three minutes to honor the victims of the disease.
They also paid tribute to the country's coronavirus "martyrs" — a high honor bestowed by the Chinese Communist Party to citizens killed while serving the country. China on Thursday awarded Li Wenliang, the doctor in Wuhan who was censured for sounding an early alarm about the coronavirus, this title.
The three minutes of national mourning came on Qingming Festival, or "Tomb-Sweeping Day," when people traditionally visit their ancestors' graves and make offerings to the dead.
This year, however, the government has advised people to avoid congregating or visiting cemeteries en masse to in adherence to social-distancing guidelines. Provinces around China have started lifting its lockdowns and travel bans as new infections in the country appear to plateau, but authorities are still being cautious.
Scroll down to see photos of the country pausing to honor coronavirus victims.
Traffic came to a standstill, and police officers left their vehicles, to pay tribute to the country's coronavirus victims on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. local time.
Life has been slowly getting back to normal in China as provinces start lifting their lockdowns. These people outside Hankou Customs House in Wuhan made sure to keep some distance between them during their moment of silence.
The city of Wuhan, where the virus first broke out last December, has been locked down since January 23, with people confined to their homes and police patrolling the streets to make sure everyone complies.
Authorities there have been slowly allowing some people to travel within and around the city again.
The Wuhan lockdown will fully lift on April 8, while other provinces are loosening their restrictions earlier.
The suitcases, pictured here in Beijing, suggest that people are resuming travel within the country after weeks of being sealed off from one another. These citizens also stopped to observe the moment of silence.
Some of the country's unsung heroes during the coronavirus outbreak also honored the victims. Here, street cleaners in Beijing can be seen bowing their heads, all while standing with some distance between them.
Delivery workers in Wuhan — many of whom still worked during the lockdown — also put down their parcels to bow their heads outside a shopping mall.
All across the country flags flew at half mast, like this one in Wuhan...
Wuhan has been under severe lockdown since January 23, with all residents confined to their homes and police officers patrolling the streets to ensure nobody breaks the rules.
... outside Beijing Railway Station...
... along the Huangpu river in Shanghai...
... in Tiananmen Square in Beijing...
... and at Beijing's Zhongnanhai complex, which is the headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party and State Council. President Xi Jinping led top officials in their moment of silence, state media reported.
Among those who were honored was Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist in Wuhan who sounded an early alarm about the coronavirus and later died of it. The Chinese government designated him a "martyr."
Li was also commemorated in state news channel CGTN's video montage of the national moment of silence.
Here's the full video:
The coronavirus outbreak has been a deeply painful moment for China, where thousands have died due to the virus.
The moment of silence came on Qingming Festival, or "Tomb-Sweeping Day," when people traditionally visit their ancestors' graves and make offerings to the dead. But because of social-distancing guidelines this year, many people turned to "cloud tomb-sweeping" instead.
The government advised people to avoid congregating or visiting cemeteries en masse this year to maintain social-distancing guidelines.
Some local governments, including that in Wuhan, even banned them.
Many Chinese companies have started offering "cloud tomb-sweeping" services, which includes having people watch a livestream of a cemetery staffer clean their relative's tomb instead, according to the BBC.
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