Spanish king to lead July 16 ceremony for COVID-19 victims

(Reuters) – King Felipe of Spain will lead a ceremony, attended by top EU officials, on July 16 to honour the 27,000 victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and health workers, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday.

Spain is emerging from a three-month lockdown after suffering one the world’s heaviest death tolls from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Sanchez told parliament the state ceremony would honour “the 27,000 compatriots who lost their lives,” as well as civil servants who had been on the frontline of the fight against the pandemic.

European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, the President of the European Council Charles Michel, top EU diplomat Josep Borrell and also the head of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will attend, he said.

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