China on Saturday mourned the thousands of “martyrs” who have died in the coronavirus outbreak, flying the national flag at half mast across the country and suspending all forms of entertainment.

The day of mourning coincided with the start of the annual Qingming tomb-sweeping festival, when millions of Chinese families pay respects to their ancestors.

The country observed a three-minute silence to mourn those who died, including frontline medical workers and doctors.

In Zhongnanhai, the seat of political power in Beijing, President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders paid silent tribute in front of the national flag, with white flowers pinned to their chest as a mark of mourning, state media reported.

More than 3300 people in mainland China have died in the epidemic, which first surfaced in the central province of Hubei late last year, according to statistics published by the National Health Commission.

In this video , China reports another drop in COVID-19 cases:

In Wuhan, the capital of Hubei and the epicenter of the outbreak, all traffic lights in urban areas turned red at 10 am and traffic came to a halt for three minutes.

Some 2.567 people have died in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze river. The Wuhan deaths account for more than 75% of the country’s coronavirus fatalities.

Among those who died was Li Wenliang, a young doctor who tried to raise the alarm about the disease. Li was honored by the Hubei government this week, after initially being reprimanded by police in Wuhan for “spreading rumors”.