Italy on Tuesday observed an emotional minute of silence at midday, exposing Italian flags at half-mast in a nationwide tribute to the victims of the coronavirus pandemic.

The tribute — initially proposed by the northern city of Bergamo, one of the worst-hit in the country — was embraced by all cities and towns across the nation. The Vatican also lowered its flags, joining the collective homage.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the initiative was a sign of national mourning and solidarity with the victims and their families as Italy’s death toll on Monday crossed 11,000 — still the highest

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