President Alberto Fernández led a tribute to Covid-19 victims at the Kirchner Cultural Centre (CCK) on Sunday, as Argentina nears a death toll of 100,000.
Representatives from professions, key public services, religions and various departments of government were on hand to remember those who have lost their lives during the virus crisis.
Almost all of Argentina’s provincial governors, First Lady Fabiola Yáñez and Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta were in attendance.
"This is a ceremony of recollection and reflection, in tribute to the people who died from Covid-19. With this pandemi, we are witnessing a true cataclysm that has hit humanity,” said Fernández, who was the event’s only speaker.
"Each of us has been affected in many ways by this pandemic. The world has darkened – we have lost loved ones, we have lost bonds," he continued.
“The millions of people who have died so far have shocked the whole world. Just as it challenges us in the deepest way, from the almost 100,000 people who have died in our country," said the Peronist leader.
"This virus is invisible but it is aggressive, it destroys and inflicts a lot of pain," said the president, during a speech that was transmitted across social networks.
At the end of the ceremony, each of those present placed a white rose next to candles representing the fallen, while "Adiós Nonino," Astor Piazzola's ageless tango classic was played.
A number of performances, ranging from musicians to poetry readings, took place, while some religious leaders offered blessings. Representatives from Argentina’s indigenous and Afro-Argentine communities were also present.
"Our humble tribute, after having gone through this period of pain, will be to construct a united and supportive Argentina, which always cares for the health of its inhabitants,” said Fernández. “Caring, recovering, rebuilding, so we can look to the future with memory and hope.”
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Argentina, in March 2020, Argentina has registered almost 4.4 million infections and 92,317 fatalities from Covid-19, according to official data.
In recent weeks, the government has accelerated the national Covid-19 vaccination campaign. Around 19.7 million vaccine doses have been applied to date. Among Argentina’s 45 million inhabitants, more than some 15.8 million have received one dose, while around 3.9 million have received both shots.