Badly hit by the pandemic and carefully watching the latest outbreaks, Spain paused on Thursday to honour its tens of thousands of victims at a state ceremony joined by top EU and World Health Organisation (WHO) figures.
The memorial took place barely three weeks after Spain ended its months-long state of emergency, but since then there has been a growing number of new coronavirus infections, with health chiefs monitoring more 120 active outbreaks.
So far, the virus has officially claimed 28,413 lives in Spain, making it the seventh worst-hit country in the world.
Presided over by Spain's King Felipe VI, the memorial took place in a square outside the Royal Palace in the presence of bereaved families and a host of top EU and WHO officials, with an orchestra playing Samuel Barber's “Adagio for Strings”.
“This act cannot heal the pain felt by so many families at not being at the side of their loved ones in their final hours [...] but what it can do is pay tribute to their lives, to their contribution to our society, to their memories,” the king said.
Header: Attendees sit around a cauldron during a state ceremony to honour victims of the coronavirus crisis. — AFP