UN to launch postage stamp initiative to raise coronavirus funds

US considers ways to combat rise in coronavirus cases

The Trump administration is extending travel restrictions over land borders with Canada and Mexico due to the coronavirus; Casey Stegall reports on the latest.

The United Nations is set to launch a postage stamp initiative Friday that will help raise funds for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) effort to assist countries struggling from the coronavirus pandemic.

Funds raised through the sale of the stamps will contribute to COVID-19 suppression efforts globally.

The “We Are All in This Together – Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19” stamps will portray six different messages regarding coronavirus hygiene and precautions, a spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General told Fox News Thursday.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted global interconnectedness,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Thursday.  “No society has been spared. No economy has gone unscathed.”

The United Nations reportedly requested creative thinkers from around the global to create a visual message to help stop the spread of the virus.

“Wash your hands, Practice social distancing and Beware of myths” are three of the public messages that will appear on the stamps.

The initiative is being overseen by the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA).

“The stamps can be used for mailing up to the face value similar to USPS postage stamps,” Thanawat Amnajanan, chief of the UNPA, told Fox News Thursday. “Any revenue earned that does not go toward covering the mailing and operation cost will go back to all members states of the United Nations as per our financial regulation.”

Mona Juul, the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is expected to announce the initiative Friday.

Though the physical stamps will not be available until August 11, people around the globe can preorder the stamps starting Friday.

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Guterres said the stamps will also provide tribute to healthcare workers around the global fighting the coronavirus.

“These dedicated professionals inspire us all — and we stand with them all during these difficult times,” Guterres said.

Coronavirus cases continue to rise globally with over 13.7 million reported cases. But health experts fear that this number is just the tip of the iceberg as the continent of Africa, with a population of 1.3 billion, is being hit with its first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Health Minister for the Central African Republic, Pierre Somse told WHO officials in a briefing Thursday, that there are large testing scarcities and inequalities amongst African nations.

Somse’s warnings come as South Africa, the continents most developed country, is seeing massive increases in coronavirus cases and has become the epicenter of the virus — reporting hospital bed shortages along with a lack in testing capabilities.

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus have jumped by 23 percent in Africa within the last week, and South Africa makes up more than half of the reported cases.

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Somese’s said that the reality of the number of cases throughout Africa is unknown.

“There is some underestimation,” WHO Africa chief, Matshidiso Moeti said, adding that they do not think that there are thousands of under reported cases.

“We hope that by working in solidarity we can help stop the spread of this global pandemic,” the UNPA said in a statement that will be released Friday. “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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