China mourns those killed by coronavirus pandemic

LEO RAMIREZ / AFP

China on Saturday held a three-minute nationwide moment of reflection to honour thousands of victims of the coronavirus outbreak.

Cars, trains and ships sounded their horns, while the national flag was at half mast throughout the country.

President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders were seen with white flowers pinned to their chest as a mark of respect for the departed.

The event also paid tribute to the 14 medical workers who died battling the virus, calling them "martyrs".

In Wuhan, where the virus was first detected, all traffic lights turned red at 10:00 am (local time).

The move coincided with the start of the Qingming tomb-sweeping festival, with the Chinese pay tribute to their their ancestors.

According to the stats published by the National Health Commission, more than 3,300 people have died in mainland China so far.

Meanwhile, the overall confirmed cases reported in the US now exceeds China's tally by threefold.

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