Coronavirus fears force German city to rethink event for February victims

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Berlin, Aug. 22, 2020 (dpa/Naija247news) A march with thousands planned for Saturday to commemorate the victims of a racially motivated attack earlier this year in the German city of Hanau has been called off due to fears about the coronavirus, but will be replaced by a smaller event.

“As soon the number of infections has gone down significantly, we’ll reschedule the mourning ceremony, of course,” said Hanau Mayor Claus Kaminsky in a Friday statement.

Hanau was rocked in February when nine people, all of foreign origin, were killed in a series of shooting attacks in one evening.

The suspect left behind a rambling video that touched on racial theories and is believed to have killed himself and his mother shortly after the spree.

Health authorities told Kaminsky on Friday that the city had reached a point where it was registering 49 infections per 100,000 members of the population over the past seven days.

For months, Germany has required communities to implement restrictions if the number reaches 50 per 100,000.

The mayor said he was “shocked about the rapid infection development.”

Police had expected between 3,000 and 5,000 people at Saturday’s demonstration.

Organisers of the event say they will not have an event where family members of the deceased will be able to speak.

The number of participants will be limited to 249, a city spokesperson told dpa.

Demonstrators had already gathered in Hanau and other cities across Germany on Wednesday to mark the six-month anniversary of the Feb. 19 attack.

Another event is expected next Wednesday, when Volker Bouffier, the premier of the German state of Hesse, is to meet with survivors of the victims.

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