A man works at a coin workshop in Cairo, Egypt, on Feb. 10, 2021. Egypt has started issuing 15 million commemorative coins in appreciation of the role played by medical workers in fighting COVID-19 in the country, an Egyptian finance ministry official told Xinhua on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
CAIRO, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Egypt has started issuing 15 million commemorative coins in appreciation of the role played by medical workers in fighting COVID-19 in the country, an Egyptian finance ministry official told Xinhua on Wednesday.
"We have already started issuing the coins and making them available in the markets. The issuing of the 15 million coins will be completed within the next six months. But they will remain in the people's hands for years as a coin's lifespan varies between 15 and 20 years," said Sherif Hazem, an adviser to the Egyptian finance minister.
He noted that there will be 10 million one-pound coins and 5 million half-pound ones, for they are frequently used by Egyptians in everyday life, "instead of issuing gold or silver commemorative coins to be collected only by a few people."
The coins feature Egyptian doctors and nurses with the words "Medical Teams of Egypt." Hazem explained that the "Medical Teams of Egypt" include doctors, nursing staff, paramedics and also administrative staff who played "a huge role" in fighting the pandemic nationwide.
"Commemorative coins raise people's awareness of current events, projects and efforts," he said, noting that such coins get the attention of the Egyptians, especially the youth.
The gesture has been appreciated by medical personnel.
Mohamed Ali, undersecretary of the Health Affairs Directorate of Matrouh province in northern Egypt, said that it is "a wonderful idea that raises the morale of medical workers whose role has been greatly recognized after the pandemic."
In late January, Egypt started vaccinating the country's medical staff with Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.
Ali noted that the medics of Matrouh hospitals have already started receiving the vaccine.
Egypt has registered a total of 170,780 COVID-19 cases, including 9,751 deaths and 133,098 recoveries.