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Swiss group light 11,288 candles for COVID-19 victims

Light candles in memory of those who have died of COVID-19 in Bern
A woman lights one of more than 11,000 candles – one for each Swiss victim of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – during a candlelit ceremony in front of the seat of the Swiss Federal Parliament Bundeshaus in Bern , Switzerland December 7, 2021. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

December 8, 2021

BERN (Reuters) – More than 11,000 candles – one for each Swiss victim of the coronavirus pandemic – lit the December darkness outside the Swiss parliament in Bern on Tuesday.

“We wanted to create a space to remember and mourn the victims,” Simon Gehren of the “Corona-Mahnwache” movement told Reuters.

About 40 volunteers helped light geometrically arranged candles on the square that is the political heart of Switzerland. The group held a similar event last year.

Gehren said the vigilance is also a call for the government to take more decisive action to prevent the number of infections from skyrocketing.

Switzerland has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases over the past weeks. It tightened measures last week, but was less stringent than in neighboring countries, such as Germany or Austria.

Swiss health authorities on Tuesday said 11,288 people have died with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

(Reporting by Arnd Wiegmann and Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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DUSTIN JONES

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