Minute’s silence and church bells announced for Covid victims

Activists light almost 9,200 candles outside parliament in Bern on February 21 to commemorate those who have died of Covid-19 in Switzerland Keystone / Peter Schneider

Everyone in Switzerland has been invited to observe a minute’s silence on Friday for the more than 9,000 people who have died in connection with Covid-19. Afterwards, church bells will ring across the country.

This content was published on March 3, 2021 - 17:16

The national minute’s silence will take place at exactly 11.59am, the economics ministry said in a statementExternal link on Wednesday. At noon the three national churches will ring their church bells in joint commemoration.

“The pandemic has been shaking the world for a year,” the statement said. “Switzerland has also paid a high price: more than 9,000 people have died as a result of Covid-19. Many of those who have fallen ill are suffering from late effects. And thousands have lost their jobs and sometimes even their hope.”

It said that in memory of the victims and in gratitude to all those who made personal sacrifices to overcome the crisis, Economics Minister Guy Parmelin, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, wanted to invite everyone to a moment of reflection.

“The minute’s silence should not only be a moment of mourning. The commemoration should also be a sign to draw strength from the expressed solidarity, friendship and comfort and to look forwards,” the statement concluded.

As of Wednesday, there have been 9,310 recorded deaths in Switzerland from or with Covid-19 and 23,603 people have needed hospital treatment.

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