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Italy commemorates one-year anniversary of its first known COVID-19 case

Italy commemorates one-year anniversary of its first known COVID-19 case
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Italy's president along with Pope FrancisPope FrancisBiden should look to 'Ostpolitik' to negotiate with autocrats The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's infrastructure plan triggers definition debate Obamas wish Americans 'a safe and happy Easter' MORE commemorated the anniversary of the country's first known COVID-19 case on Saturday by establishing an annual day to honor front-line workers and health care professionals.

The nation's first coronavirus infection was confirmed in northern Italy on Feb. 20, 2020. A 38-year-old man who reportedly had no connection to anyone who had traveled to Wuhan, China, where the first cases of COVID-19 were originally reported, was diagnosed with the virus, according to The Associated Press.

On Saturday, the AP reported, Francis applauded the dedication of those who have been on the front lines of combating the coronavirus as “a vaccine against individualism and selfishness.″ He also lauded them as demonstrating “the most authentic desire that dwells in the heart of man — be near to those who have the most need and give of oneself for them.”

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Italian President Sergio Mattarella deemed the day the National Day of Health Care Personnel and marked its inaugural celebration with the remembrance of the health care workers who have died of COVID-19 over the past year, the outlet noted.

Mattarella praised health care workers' dedication and commitment to continuing to preserve the national health care system "in order to protect" Italians.

According to Reuters, nearly 326 Italian doctors and 81 Italian nurses have died of COVID-19.

The nation planned for more coronavirus anniversary commemorations to take place on Sunday, Reuters reported.