Al-Ahram, Egypt's largest news establishment, lit up its main building in Downtown Cairo on Thursday night in a show of solidarity with Egypt’s medical staff, armed forces and police amid the coronavirus crisis.
The event was attended by the chairman of Al-Ahram organisation, Abdel-Mohsen Salama, and the head of the National Press Authority, Karam Gabr, as well as several editors-in-chief.
“Al-Ahram is to light up its historic building as a sign of respect and gratitude to Egypt’s doctors and nurses, its white army," Al-Ahram said in a statement.
The move by the 144-year-old establishment is meant to express solidarity with the Egyptian health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) in their efforts to combat the coronavirus, it added.
The buildings were lit up to reveal messages like “thanks to the armed forces’ chemical warfare division,” “the angels of mercy...thank you, doctors of Egypt,” and “thank you, police officers.”
Speaking at the event, Gabr praised the efforts exerted by the Egyptian state to combat the coronavirus epidemic.
The head of the state news authority called on Egyptians to commit themselves to protecting society, especially given what is happening in major countries, where the situation is deteriorating.
Social media users have called for encouraging the Egyptian public to salute medical staff nationwide by clapping from windows and balconies at 10:30pm, following similar shows of support in the UK, Turkey and Lebanon.
On Monday, Egyptian authorities lit up the Great Pyramid of Giza to send a global message encouraging citizens to stay at home and saluting medical staff around the globe.
On Monday, the health ministry announced the death of a 57-year-old laboratory physician at Al-Azhar University, Ahmed El-Lawah, from Port Said, who died after contracting the virus but he is not believed to have contracted the virus through his formal medical practice.
Egypt has so far recorded 865 positive cases of the coronavirus nationwide, including 58 deaths.