21 April 2020
A growing number of countries have issued defiant stamps promoting solidarity and safety during the Covid19 pandemic, including a semi-postal from Switzerland which will raise funds for Swiss charities.
Following the release of an Iranian stamp showing the country’s fight against the Covid19 pandemic, more countries have issued stamps on the sombre subject, but some leaked designs are thought to be fake or privately produced issues.
Vietnam have issued two stamps on the subject under the title ‘Join hands in COVID-19 prevention and control’, perhaps not the most appropriate name in these times of social distancing.
The first stamp shows medical, military and security professionals ‘as frontline fighters of the coronavirus outbreak’, the second design shows Vietnam doctors ‘with their supreme mission and great efforts to study to find out the best treatment methods to cure timely infected patients and the vaccine to fight COVID-19.’
The VN Post website explains: ‘The stamp set issued in the context of COVID-19 outbreak conveys a meaningful message in the community, it shows the responsibility and decision of Vietnam to work together with the global and regional countries to fight COVID-19.’
Switzerland have issued a single semi-postal stamp to promote solidarity during the coronavirus crisis. All proceeds from sales of the stamp will be split between Swiss Solidarity and the Swiss Red Cross. According to Swiss Post, the stamp was created at very short notice and designed by Berne-based studio Nulleins Kommunikationsdesign.
The graphic design professionals designed the stamp at a safe distance from their home offices. The design symbolises solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic: with Switzerland at the centre, while the rotated cross reveals a shining globe.
The website states:
‘Help us to help others! By purchasing these stamps, you are showing solidarity together with Swiss Post: you donate 50 francs, while Swiss Post gives you stamps worth 10 francs.’ The stamps are available as a ten-stamp sheet for fifty francs at the website postshop.ch.
IOM stamps to ‘carry us through’
The Isle of Man Post Office has issued a #CarryUsThrough stamp collection to pay homage to the Isle of Man community, in particular its key frontline delivery workers and health care professionals.
A donation from the sale of the stamps will be made to the Manx Solidarity Fund.
Maxine Cannon, General Manager Isle of Man Stamps and Coins, explained: ‘We wanted to send a positive message into every home in the Isle of Man and to our friends overseas to say how much we appreciate the people who are working tirelessly for us all and to share the sense of strength and fortitude in our community.
Stamp rumours and fake news?
Despite reports of new stamps from China, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, there has been some doubt on whether reports are accurate.
China’s pair of stamps were revealed on the China Post website in late March, but reports now suggest the stamp issue was postponed, following complaints over the design. The stamps were redesigned and yet there is still no confirmation that they will be officially released.
There has also been some uncertainty over Indonesia’s stamp set, following the appearance of a privately produced stamp sheet from the country. However, the designs have been circulated on collecting websites and at least one dealer’s site and appear to be official.
Sri Lanka also said to be issuing Covid19 stamps, with a design featuring the logo of the World Health Organization (WHO), however some suggest these designs were created by an individual and not the post office.
A stamp from postal administration BH Pošta, for Bosnia Herzergovina, has also been shown online, but with no confirmed release date. Meanwhile, stamps from Turkey and Lebanon are also set to be released.
At least two personalised stamps have been used on post in Spain, both the designs thanking health workers for their courage and hard work during the crisis.
A bespoke design from the Cadiz Philatelic Society features an illustration of doctors and nurses beneath the large slogan ‘Gracias’ and an image of hands clapping. A similar stamp from Calahorra Philatelic Society features a photograph of the local hospital.
Slogan cancels and cachets
Royal Mail have not issued a stamp relating to the current crisis, but are among the countries to have used special slogan cancellations on mail, encouraging people to ‘Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.’
They also issued a special postmark to celebrate the 100th birthday of Captain Thomas Moore, who raised millions of pounds for the NHS during the lockdown.
Singapore Post have also used this medium to get across a message of solidarity, issuing three different slogan cancellations. But it was Malaysia who were first to issue a slogan, with the message on postal items reading: ‘You Stay At Home, We Deliver; Do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19.’
A number of Chinese postal markings have also been spotted, including a range of privately produced date stamps.
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