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Spain declares 10-day mourning period for dead

/ 09:51 PM May 26, 2020

People walk on a street in Barcelona on Monday, May 25, 2020. Roughly half of the population, including residents in the biggest cities of Madrid and Barcelona, are entering phase 1 on Monday, which allows social gatherings in limited numbers, restaurant and bar service with outdoor sitting, and some cultural and sports activities. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

MADRID — The Spanish government is declaring a 10-day mourning period to pay tribute to nearly 27,000 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus.

Starting Wednesday until June 5, flags will be at half-mast in more than 14,000 public buildings across the nation as well as on the navy’s vessels, the government announced on Tuesday. King Felipe VI, as Spain’s head of state, will preside over a solemn ceremony to honor the dead once the country emerges from its strict lock-down rules.

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The victims were “men and women whose lives have been suddenly cut short, leaving friends and family in great pain, both from the sudden loss and from the difficult circumstances in which it has occurred,” the Spanish government’s spokeswoman, Minister María Jesús Montero, said.

Opposition parties had criticized the left-wing coalition of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez for not paying homage to the victims. Health officials on Monday corrected the pandemic’s official death toll, reducing 1,918 official deaths, saying some unconfirmed deaths had been erroneously counted.

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