Germany mourns 80,000 COVID victims in national service

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Germany is observing a national memorial day on Sunday for its nearly 80,000 victims of the coronavirus pandemic, sharing the pain both of grieving families and those who died alone because of COVID curbs.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel are attending two special memorial events, as the country battles a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases.

Merkel and Steinmeier are attending a morning service at Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church — a memorial in Berlin against war and destruction.

A woman places a candle during a ceremony to commemorate the deaths of the coronavirus pandemic in front of the state parliament of Bremen, northern Germany, 18 April 2021. More than 400 people died in the smallest German federal state due to the COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. EPA-EFE/FOCKE STRANGMANN

Later, they will take part in a ceremony at the capital’s Konzerthaus, where the president will make a speech.

With pandemic curbs still in force restricting the number of people who can attend, the ceremonies will be broadcast live on public television.

Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) Heinrich Bedford-Strohm (L), Chairman of the Association of Christian Churches in Germany (ACK) Archpriest Radu Constantin Miron (C) and Chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) Georg Baetzing (R), an ecumenical service on the occasion of the national central mourning act for the deceased amid the Corona pandemic at the Kaiser-Wilhelm memorial church (Gedaechtniskirche) in Berlin, Germany. EPA-EFE/GORDON WELTERS / POOL

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 19,185 to 3,142,262, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.

The reported death toll rose by 67 to 79,914, the tally showed. 

Main Photo: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (2-R) welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) to an ecumenical service on the occasion of the national central mourning act for the deceased amid the Corona pandemic at the Kaiser-Wilhelm memorial church (Gedaechtniskirche) in Berlin, Germany. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN / POOL

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