Amid a third deadly spike in COVID-19 infections in the country and elsewhere in Europe, Italy on Thursday marked its first national remembrance day for the victims of the year-old pandemic.
"Today is the first national remembrance day for the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic: the foreign ministry is close to the families of the too many fellow citizens taken by this terrible virus," the ministry tweetd.
We will defeat this pandemic, also for them," the tweet added.
Just over a year after Italy's first national lockdown began, flags were flying at half mast on Italian public buildings on Thursday to honour the country's COVID-19 victims.
By March 18, 2020, Italy had recorded 2,978 deaths from COVID-19 - nearly 2,000 of them in Lombardy.
Italy's COVID-19 death toll is over 103,400 and it has recorded more than 3.2 million cases of the virus.