Italians honor health workers with midday applause
Italians face lockdown with resilience and high spirits organizing singalongs, performances on balconies
Italians took to their balconies at midday on Saturday joining each other in collective applause to honor doctors, nurses and healthcare workers on the frontline to combat the coronavirus emergency.
From the northern city of Milan -- close to the epidemic's epicenter -- to the southern cities of Naples and Palermo, the applause was just one of the many initiatives across Italy which is under lockdown.
From Friday afternoon, hundreds of Italian citizens have joined social calls and flash mobs, organizing singalongs and improvised performances on their balconies. People of different ages sang popular songs of hope and solidarity in a virtual embrace against the virus.
Videos on social media showed neighbors of entire buildings performing the Italian national anthem, while waving the Italian flag, or banners with the hashtag #Andratuttobene (#Allwillgowell).
In Milan, a video of a musician playing on his trumpet “O mia bela Madunina” (Oh My Beautiful Virgin Mary) -- considered a symbol of the northern Italian city hit hard by the virus -- went viral on social media and made international headlines.
Italy has become a hotbed of coronavirus with over 1,200 deaths and more than 17,000 cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Since originating in Wuhan, China, last December, coronavirus has spread globally, becoming a pandemic.
The global death toll from the virus is over 5,300 with more than 142,000 cases confirmed worldwide.
With health experts grappling to find a vaccine, the pandemic has spurred fears bringing major cities across Europe to a virtual standstill.
However, the vast majority of those who get infected recover from the illness.
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