Spain is to hold 10 days of official mourning for victims of the coronavirus epidemic that has so far claimed more than 27,000 lives, the government said Tuesday.
The mourning period is to begin on Wednesday when all flags on public buildings will be lowered to half-mast in a country that has suffered one of the most deadly outbreaks of the virus.
Writing on Twitter, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said it would be "10 days, the longest period of mourning in our democracy, in which we will all express our sorrow and pay homage to those who have died."
The mourning period was approved at Tuesday's cabinet meeting, and government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero said there would also be a ceremony to honour the victims presided over by King Felipe VI.
"Eight out of 10 victims were older than 70, they were those who helped build the country that we know today. We will honour their lives as is fitting with an official ceremony," she said, without specifying a date.
China, where the virus emerged late in 2019 and has now officially killed 4,634 people, held a national day of mourning on April 4, while Italy, which has so far suffered almost 32,900 deaths, mourned the victims on March 31.
And this week, the United States lowered its flags to half-mast for three days to remember its dead, who now number more than 98,200, the heaviest toll in the world.
Spain on Tuesday said the virus had so far claimed 27,117 lives in the country, out of more than 236,000 cases.
The health ministry on Monday revised down the death toll by nearly 2,000 following a change in the system of gathering data.