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The faces of the new heroes €2 coin

Photo: Times of Malta

In April 2020, an extremely powerful photo of two Maltese ITU nurses went viral during the outbreak of COVID-19. Over a year later, the picture is set to become the face of a brand new €2 commemorative coin, dedicated to the heroes of the pandemic.

Senior staff nurses Charmaine Cauchi and Doreen Zammit feature in the image and their identities were never disclosed before, due to them being covered head-to-toe in their personal protective material (PPE). They were locked in a tight hug, with their eyes shut, before treating COVID-19 patients at Mater Dei Hospital.

The photo was taken by Diane Faenza, a fellow nurse. She captured the true, raw climate of stress, fear and bravery among healthcare workers during this tough time. Just a month later, the photo was chosen by the Europe branch of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to mark the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, after it was spotted on local newspaper Times of Malta.

The decision to use this image on the €2 coin to pay homage to the heroes of the pandemic was confirmed by Jesmond Gatt, its chief officer for banking. The coin was meant to be issued during June, but was held up due to logistical problems at the mint in France.

Nurses doreen zammit (left) and CHarmaine Cauchi

Photo: Times of Malta

What do you think of the commemorative coin?