Vilnius (AFP)

Lithuania on Wednesday issued a new collector's item to mark the coronavirus crisis, with the inscription: "After the darkness, I hope for the light".

The piece presents a ray of light falling on the date 2020 whose shadow draws the international SOS distress signal.

Asta Kuniyoshi, deputy governor of the central bank of Lithuania, said the bank had the idea in March when the Baltic member of the eurozone imposed containment to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

"At the height of the pandemic, we witnessed the solidarity between people. The play therefore marks not only the period of confinement but also the universal human values ​​of hope, unity and solidarity", said she declared to AFP.

"With this play, we also pay tribute to the doctors and all those who helped during the pandemic, to the volunteers who supported the elderly, to the teachers who taught online," added Ms. Kuniyoshi.

Five euro silver coins, as well as copper and nickel coins with a face value of 1.5 euro are available online and in stores across the country.

The bank struck 2,500 five-euro coins and 30,000 1.5-euro coins.

Lithuania, a country of 2.8 million people, has already eased or lifted most of the restrictions imposed from mid-March.

On Wednesday, Vilnius reported a single new case of coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 1,818, including 78 deaths - far fewer than in most other EU countries.

© 2020 AFP