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With heavy hearts, Italians mark year of COVID-19 outbreak

CODOGNO, Italy (AP) — With wreath-laying ceremonies, tree plantings and church services, Italians on Sunday marked one year since their country experienced its first known COVID-19 death.

Towns in Italy’s north were the first to be hard-hit by the pandemic and put under lockdown, and residents paid tribute to the dead. Italy, with some 95,500 confirmed virus dead, has Europe’s second-highest pandemic toll after Britain. Experts say the virus also killed many others who were never tested.

While the first wave of infections largely engulfed Lombardy and other northern regions, a second surge starting in the fall of 2020 has raced throughout the country. The number of new coronavirus infections has remained stubbornly high despite a…

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