New Zealand has decided to cancel the national remembrance service that would have marked the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks. The service was originally scheduled on March 15, exactly a year after the horrific attacks on two mosques that left 51 people dead.
According to reports, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claimed that it was a pragmatic decision. She added that while she was saddened that she had to cancel the service she said that in remembering such a tragedy they should not risk further harm being done. The service had been expected to attract several thousand people, many of whom would be travelling from overseas.
As per reports, Arden also said that this was an opportunity for New Zealanders to reflect on the events of a year ago in their own way. The unveiling of a remembrance plaque at Christchurch’s main mosque, Al Noor mosque, was also planned on the day of the service but also stands postponed.
New Zealand has confirmed 6 cases of coronavirus so far. None of the reported cases has been in Christchurch.
The French Prime Minister has recently banned meetings and gatherings of more than 100 people amid coronavirus scare. The ban on gatherings has been reduced from the previous official limit of 1,000. France has 2,876 reported cases with 61 total deaths. The decision was taken by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in light of the growing crisis.
According to reports, while making the announcement Philippe said that its aim was to try and slow down the progress of the disease. He added that the authorities wanted to prevent the further circulating of the coronavirus. The head of the French Government while making the announcement accepted that the new limit on gatherings would be problematic for cinemas and theatres as well as large family gatherings like weddings and funerals.
The deadly coronavirus that began in China's Wuhan province has been officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation. While the majority of reported cases are still present in mainland China, the virus has spread to multiple countries around the world and infected 1,45,857 people worldwide. The death toll from the virus stands at 5,436