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German President calls for a coronavirus memorial service

German President calls for a coronavirus memorial service

German President calls for a coronavirus memorial service

The President of Germany has suggested that the country should consider holding a memorial service for those who have lost their lives to the coronavirus.

Honouring victims of the coronavirus

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called for an official memorial service for those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. “A corona death is a lonely death,” he told reporters on Saturday. “We need to help people with their grief and think how we express our sympathy.”

Anyone who has contracted the virus has to be treated by doctors in isolation so that it doesn’t spread and, because of this, many of those who die do not get a last chance to see their families

At least 9.300 people have now died from COVID-19 in Germany. “We have 9.300 dead to mourn," said Steinmeier. “In six months, that is three times as many as the annual traffic fatalities. We should not overlook that." He added that focusing on the numbers will not comfort those who have lost loved ones to the virus.

Reactions to the proposed memorial

Several politicians have backed the call for a memorial service dedicated to those who have lost their lives to the coronavirus. Health Minister Jens Spahn said that it is important that “we, together as a nation, as a society,” commemorate the victims of the virus. Spahn also said that the service should be dedicated to everyone who suffered during the crisis.

Similarly, Helge Braun, Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, called for a memorial service back in July, similar to the one in Spain. Spain held a memorial for coronavirus victims on July 16, which was attended by top EU and WHO officials.

However, some people have opposed the idea. Isabella Heuser-Collier, a psychologist from the Charité hospital in Berlin, has asserted that it is too soon to hold such a memorial. “If somebody has lost a loved one without he or she being able to be at the bedside, that is a horrible scenario," she said, adding that to remind people of this would not be helpful.

“We will defeat the virus”

President Steinmeier also reiterated his belief in overcoming the virus. "We will defeat the virus," he said. "And I hope that we will then look back on this crisis with the certainty that we may not always have done everything right, but that we have done everything possible together to protect the health and lives of people in Germany."

Steinmeier has said that he needs to talk to other governing bodies in Germany before a memorial service could be announced.

William Nehra

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William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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