Italy held a minute of silence and flew flags at half mast on Tuesday to mourn the 11,591 deceased victims of the coronavirus pandemic. The Mediterranean nation has recorded nearly a third of all deaths related to the pandemic worldwide. It marks the first time the country has seen so many deaths from a single disaster since World War II. The virus "is an injury that hurt the whole country," Rome mayor Virginia Raggi said after observing the minute of silence at noon. "Together, we will get through this," she said.

Meanwhile Germany’s health research organization, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), lists the total number of cases in the country as 61,913. "The pandemic is continuing and will carry on for weeks and months," said Lothar Wieler, the head of the Robert Koch Institute. In particular, containment measures to protect particularly vulnerable persons and to expand healthcare capacity will also have to continue. He added that he is optimistic that the measures would be effective, and that he expects "tangible figures" on the impact of the measures to be available by Easter. The death rate in Germany is currently very low, at just 0.8%, however, he believes that that rate will increase. "I would like to ask all people to take this disease seriously," he said, as one study showed that only 41% of Germans believe that COVID-19 is dangerous.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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