GREATER ACCRA – Sunday, May 31, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency William Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, has, during the 10th update to Ghana’s enhanced response to the Coronavirus pandemic, on Sunday, 31st May, 2020, revealed that with effect from Friday, 5th June, Ghanaians will begin stage one of the process of easing restrictions, with the commencement of an abridged format for religious services.
According to him, twenty-five percent (25%) attendance, with a maximum number of one hundred (100) congregants, can worship at a time in church or at the mosque, with a mandatory one metre rule of social distancing between congregants. In addition to the mandatory wearing of masks for all persons at all times in churches and mosques, a register of names and contact details of all worshippers and hand washing facilities and sanitisers must be provided, with a maximum duration of one (1) hour for each service.
The President revealed that, Religious institutions that are desirous of opening their premises to their members, such as churches, mosques and others, must disinfect, fumigate and put in place the requisite logistics needed to guarantee safe opening and operation. They must work with the designated, regulatory bodies and undertake test runs of the protocols I have outlined.
Nana Akufo-Addo appealed that, in the case of Christians, on the first Sunday of re-opening, i.e. 7th June, in the case of the Adventists, Saturday, 6th June, and in the case of Muslims, on the first Friday, i.e. Ṣalāt al-Jumuʿah on 5th June, to dedicate their worship to prayers for the nation in these challenging times, adding that, the Minister for Religious Affairs, will, tomorrow, Monday, 1st June, outline, in detail, the specific guidelines for the safe reopening of our churches and mosques.
On the subject of schools ressuming for lessons, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that, from Monday, 15th June, 2020, the decision has been taken, after engagement with the Teacher Union to re-open schools and universities to allow for final year junior high, senior high and university students, including all final year students of educational and training institutions, which are being managed by Ministries other than the Education Ministry, to resume classes ahead of the conduct of their respective exit examinations.
He, final year university students are to report to their universities on 15th June; final year senior high school (SHS 3) students, together with SHS 2 Gold Track students, on 22nd June; and final year junior high school (JHS 3) students on 29th June. JHS 3 classes will comprise a maximum of thirty (30) students; SHS classes a maximum of twenty-five (25) students; and University lectures will take place with half the class sizes.
He reiterated that, prior to the opening of schools and universities, the Ministry of Education, and the heads of public and private educational institutions, will fumigate and disinfect their institutions. Explaining that, each student, teacher, and non-teaching staff will be provided with re-usable face masks by the Ministry of Education. He added that, for the avoidance of doubt, all other educational facilities, private and public, for non-final year students, will remain closed.
On private burials, with a maximum of one hundred (100) persons, can continue to be performed. Restaurants, providing seated services, can operate under appropriate social distancing arrangements and hygiene protocols. Individual, non-contact sports can go ahead. Conferences, workshops, weddings, and political activities, except rallies, can now take place, but with limited numbers not exceeding one hundred (100) persons present, with the appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols.
Market places, work places, public transport, and constitutional and statutory bodies such as the Electoral Commission, the National Commission for Civic Education and the National Identification Authority, whose activities were exempted from the outset from these restrictions, must conduct their activities in accordance with social distancing and the necessary hygiene and safety protocols.
Whilst Ghanaians step up public education of the protocols on public gatherings, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that, regulatory agencies will undertake random checks to ensure conformity with these rules, and the security services will be tasked to enforce them, adding that, should any institution fail to adhere to these directives, its activity will be immediately prohibited, and relevant sanctions applied.
WHO Update Its Guidance On Who Should Wear A Mask And When It Should Be Worn – [WATCH]
Since the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus which has swept through the world, the World Health Organization has been providing various guidance to protect the general public.
In the latest video shared by Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, the World Health Organization provided an update on the safety guidance based on research carried out by the organization.
The guidance covers who is supposed to wear the masks, when it’s compulsory to wear the mask and lastly what the mask should be made of in terms of layers of fabrics. Most of the guidance encourages people to wear the mask in areas identified to be a hot zone for the rise of COVID-19.
Watch the full video below:
2,000 Participants To Be Entered Into South Africa’s First Covid-19 Vaccine Trial
South Africa is very much in the early phase of the pandemic, says expert.
South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) announced on Tuesday during a virtual press conference that it will begin the continent’s first clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine. Leading the South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial is Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology at Wits University and Director of the South Africa Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (VIDA).
“This is a landmark moment for South Africa and Africa at this stage of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we enter winter in South Africa and pressure increases on public hospitals, now more than ever, we need a vaccine to prevent infection by Covid-19,” said Madhi at the launch.
“We began screening participants for the South African Oxford 1 Covid-19 vaccine trial last week and the first participants will be vaccinated this week,” he added.
Speaking to FORBES AFRICA, Martin Veller, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits, believes South Africa is very much in the early phase of the pandemic.
“We will be seeing a lot more cases. And that is already reflected in the significant increase of the numbers that we’ve seen in the country.”
South Africa’s total number of cases has surpassed 100,000 with the death toll reaching 1,991.
The South African Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial will start tomorrow, June 24.
“2,000 people will be entered into the trial. It’s important to note that the trial is largely going to be a placebo-controlled trial. One needs to see firstly what the safety of the vaccine is but much more importantly whether it’s effective,” says Veller.
He further stated that the participants will be followed for a whole year and the results will be analysed intermittently.
The institution is also collaborating with other institutions on the vaccine trial.
“Because of the expertise that Professor Madhi, his colleagues at Oxford University very early on contacted him to take part in the development and the trials of this vaccine,” says Veller.
Wits will also be collaborating with the Jenner Institute at Oxford University on the trial.
– Forbes Africa
Mr. Maxwell Dodd Launches Sickle Cell Anaemia Relief International To Support Carriers
In commemoration of the World Sickle Cell Day, The Executive Director, Mr Maxwell Dodd has, on Friday June 19, 2020, virtually launched the Sickle Cell Anaemia Relief International (SCAR) that is essential to tell the real and personal life stories, shed light on the challenges faced by carriers and support them financially.
Through this project, SCAR will make society better for all Sickle Cell carriers whiles putting eternal smiles on their faces. The theme for this year’s Celebration is “Shine the light on Sickle Cell” which primarily is to create more societal awareness on this Public Health Disease and the challenges the carriers, family and care givers face.
World Sickle Cell Day was established by the United Nation’s General Assembly in 2008 in order to increase the awareness about the sickle cell diseases and its cure among the general public. It was first celebrated on 19th June, 2009. This year, the date has been chosen to commemorate the day on which a resolution was officially adopted by the United Nation’s General Assembly, significantly recognizing Sickle Cell Disease(SCD) as a Public Health Concern.
According to the World Health Organization, SCD which affects over millions of people worldwide including adults and children, is one of the main cause of premature death among children under the age of five in various African countries. SCD is a potentially fatal disease.
Nigeria’s Ministry Of Health To Test Madagascar Drug.
LAGOS, NIGERIA, May 29th, 2020/www.gbafrica.com/ The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said the Madagascar COV!D Organics has been received by his ministry.
He said the formulation has been sent to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research for scientific evaluation.
The PUNCH reports that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), received the consignment of the formulation from his Guinea Bissau counterpart, Umaro Sissoco Embaló on May 16.
It was later sent to the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COV!D-19 and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, two days after – May 18.
The PTF chair had said he would hand over the five cartons to the minister of health who has the “responsibility of validation through his institutions chattered by law”.
But the formulation was only received by the minister of health this week, according to The PUNCH report.
Confirming this development during the PTF briefing on Thursday in Abuja, Ehanire said, “The Madagascar herbs have been received at the Ministry of Health, and were found to consist of two varieties; one labelled to be for prevention and the other for treatment. Samples have been given to three agencies of the Ministry of Health and also to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
“These are normal processes for new preparations to be approved for use in Nigeria and include toxicological and efficacy tests and clinical trials. The government will investigate all genuine efforts to find homegrown solutions to the pandemic.”
Also, the minister said Nigeria would review its participation in the World Health Organisation solidarity trial. He also stated that proposals for the trial of local remedies for COV!D-19 had been sent to the relevant research and testing agencies for scientific evaluation.
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