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Roadmap to reopen churches in Ghana revealed

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Roadmap to reopen churches in Ghana revealed

The Heads of Christian Ecumenical Bodies in Ghana have issued the roadmap to reopen churches in Ghana. The roadmap with guidelines is to mitigate the spread of coronavirus when church reopens.

The bodies that presented the guidelines included the Christian Council, the National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches, Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

Signing the mitigating guidelines were;

  • Most Rev Dr Paul Boafo (Chairman, Christian Council of Ghana);
  • Rev Prof Yaw Frimpong Manso (President, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council);
  • Most Rev Phillip Naameh (President, Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference);
  • Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams (President, National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches).

It would be recalled that in March President Akufo-Addo banned all public gatherings in response to coronavirus.

Impliedly, the suspension of religious gathering constitutes a form of lockdown, owing to the Church’s inability to congregate for communal worship, the Christian bodies said.

“And following the President’s meeting with heads of churches and ecumenical councils on April 2020 at the Jubilee House where His Excellency the President charged the Christian leaders to develop modalities and guidelines to mitigate the spread of the virus should the ban on public gathering be lifted, the Christian leaders developed these intervention strategies.

In assessing Church’s readiness and capacity to comply with COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols, it is important to note that addressing CV-19 “requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response, according to them.

The Church being a major stakeholder is indispensable in the State’s overall COVID-19 containment and mitigation strategies, they said.

Given that 71% of Ghanaians identify as Christians, the Church, with its wide social network, access to communities, captive audience, unquestioned authority, and influential actors of public support for government measures is best placed to help in numerous ways with educating, counseling and sustaining the populace.

Roadmap Guidelines To Mitigate The Spread Of The Virus

As the Church prepares to come back for communal worship, the tables below show the potential risk areas and what to do to mitigate potential spread, according to them.

Risk Areas

  • Entrance points to churches
  • Doors
  • Door handles
  • Rails
  • Pillars
  • Utility areas in the church
  • WC handles
  • Washroom door handles
  • Seating arrangements in the church
  • Close seating arrangement in the church that breaches social distancing regulations
  • Group sitting e.g. the choir
  • Nature of church building
  • Poorly ventilated churches – having few and small windows
  • Entirely glass windows that impede free flow of air
  • Nature of service
  • Handshakes during welcome sessions
  • Singing groups congregating at one side and singing
  • Group meetings – Sunday schools where teachers speak to small groups. Those in the front roll are at risk
  • Communion services where cups are handed to individuals
  • Communion service where many people drink from one cup
  • Communion services where packaged loafs are handed to individuals Devices and items
  • Microphones used commonly by more than one person, faucets, telephones
  • Money handled by more than one person through giving offering and tithes Vestries & Pastors’ offices
  • Door and seat handles
  • Rails
  • Poorly ventilated rooms
  • Common surfaces including Pastors’ tables
  • Interventions
  • Church Entrances and Lobbies

SPECIFIC RISK AREAS INTERVENTIONS TO PUT IN PLACE

Church Entrances and Lobbies

Hand washing: Make available hand-washing materials for all to wash hands before entering the church or touching rails, door handles and pillars. A running tap or Veronica bucket should be put at all entrances for every church member to wash hands before entering the church. Handsfree soap dispenser must be fitted to avoid cross contamination.

Sanitization: Make hand-sanitizer (preferably a dispenser) available at near church entrances, outside washrooms, pastors’ offices, vestries and lobbies for members to sanitize their hands.

Enforce hand washing and sanitization: have one person (usher) dedicated to the entrance to enforce the above, making sure that every church member at least, washes the hands for 20 seconds under running water and also sanitizes the hands after washing. Enforcement is more important than instituting the measures in order to achieve sustained compliance. In addition, churches should put up signs reminding people to wash hands, cough/sneeze into their elbows and remind people from the pulpit/stag

Utility areas

Clean utility areas, surfaces and items touched by different people routinely. Preferably clean surfaces every 1-2 hours depending on utilization. Door handles, WC handles, faucets, microphones. Seat arms/handles should be disinfected before and after service for the next session.​

Seating in churches

Observe social distancing through seating arrangements: seating should be rearranged to allow social distancing rules. Contiguous seats should be 2 arms-length reach (2m). So should be the distance before and after one seat to ensure that cough, sneeze and talking from one church member does not predispose the neighbours to the virus particularly from asymptomatic carriers.

Provide separate seating areas for the aged and families.

Organize church services in sessions: because of the need for social distancing as described above, there will invariably be the need to organize churches in more than one session with at least one hour in between services.

Wear facemasks: All citizens/church members including pastors, are to wear facemasks to enter churches. It is particularly important for those who will engage by talking e.g. pastors, Sunday school teachers, etc. The mask will prevent droplet infections from getting to the others. For all others, it will also prevent those getting droplets from others in the church. Masks are to be kept on until one comes back home. This will reduce the risk of spread from asymptomatic carriers of the virus.

Nature of building

All windows should be opened fully during church services to allow good ventilation. There should be no use of air conditioners. This will diffuse and reduce the concentration of the virus (should there be anyone infected) in the room.

Nature of service

All handshakes are to be avoided in churches during this period of COVID-19. This leads to cross-contamination and the spread of the virus.

All who speak in churches must wear N95 facemask during service. This will reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.

Singers/Choristers: observe social distancing and also avoid second row of singers. As much as possible prerecorded music may be used.

Communion Service: Offer individual cups for communion. Reduce hand-to-hand transmission by providing individual bread and cup servings. Hand hygiene and food safety precautions must strictly be observed by those who prepare these communions.

Giving / collection of offering and tithes: It is advisable not to pass offering bowls and baskets around. Items that are frequently handled can be sources of contaminants for the COVID-19 virus. The virus can be retained on the offering/tithe bowl for hours and can be passed on to others. The best option will be for a stationary bowl with a wide opening to be put in front or entry point where people do not need to handle the bowl before putting in their offering and tithes. Where practicable, churches should advice their members to use mobile money for offerings and tithes as this means of giving reduces the risk of transmission

Education on Covid-19

Communicate with and educate church members, and persons in the communities that the church is located.

Select members in the church should be trained and be made responsible for COVID-19 education and coordination of resources to help the church.

The church should mobilize resources to help individuals in need including church health facilities

Presented by

…………………………………..

Most Rev Dr. Paul Boafo (Chairman, Christian Council of Ghana)

……………………………….

Rev Prof Yaw Frimpong Manso (President, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council)

………………………………

Most Rev Phillip Naameh (President, Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference)

……………………………….

Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams (President, National Association of Charismatic and Christian Churches)

Dated Thursday 7th May 2020

 


–: DailyGuideNetwork

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Study shows Children Born During Covid-19 Pandemic Have Lower IQs

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Study shows Children Born During Covid-19 Pandemic Have Lower IQs


Study shows Children Born During Covid-19 Pandemic Have Lower IQs; A US study has claimed that children born during the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced verbal, oral and overall cognitive performance compared to children born pre-pandemic.

The research found that children from the lower socio-economic background are the most-affected. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the mean IQ score on standardised tests for children aged between three months and three years was around 100, but for children born in the pandemic that number has fallen to 78.

For parents, who were able to continue their work from home, and did not face employment loss or any financial problems, the dual responsibilities of childcare and work have intensified the burden, especially on working women.

The dual responsibilities of childcare and work have increased the pressure on parents. And the families, whose bread earners lost their jobs, may have experienced greater stress, food and housing insecurities.

The study involved a total of 672 children from the state of Rhode Island. Of the total selected children, 308 kids were born before January 2019, while 188 kids took birth after July 2020. Besides, 176 of them were born between January 2019 and March 2020. The children involved in the study were mostly white and had no cognitive or developmental disabilities.

For the cognitive development of a child, the first few years of his/her life are critical. But with COVID-19 tightening its grip over our lives and causing the closure of schools, nurseries, and playgrounds, the infants’, as well as parents’ lives, have changed considerably.

Lead study author and associate professor of paediatrics (research) at Brown University, Sean Deoni said, “The biggest reason behind the falling scores is likely the lack of stimulation and interaction at home.”

source: news18


READ ALSO:

Overtaking Gone Wrong; Employment Minister Involved In An Accident.


  • Ignatius Baffour- Awuah doubles as an Minister of employment and MP for Sunyani -West.
  • He has been involved in a car accident.
  •  He was returning from a funeral
  • His driver tried to overtake another car 

The employment minister has been involved in an accident. The accident occurred on the Sunyani-Nsoatre road on his return from a funeral at Odumase on Saturday, August 14. The minister’s driver tried to overtake another driver but luck was not on their side as they collided with a tipper truck.

In a report, the minister fell from his vehicle and got injured. It is unclear whether or not the minister had his seat belt on.

Mr. Baffour-Awuah was rushed to the hospital immediately.

This is not the first time a government official has had an accident .The question to ask is, what is the cause?….

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Over 1,000 reports on adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana received – GHS

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adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines

Ghana Health Service GHS has received over 1000 reports on adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana so far

Adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines: Extended Programme on Immunisation (EPI) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it has received about 1,000 reports of adverse effects from persons vaccinated against the COVID-19 vaccine.

These are people vaccinated within 12 days of the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise.

Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achino, the Programme Manager of the EPI, told the Ghana News Agency that the reactions and complaints received by his outfit and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) were fever, sweating, headache, weakness, chills, and body aches, which were all expected.

The Programme Manager said the reports were not different from reactions and adverse reports from other countries and what was stated by the manufacturer in the vaccine package information.

Dr. Amponsa-Achiano said the complaints were received mainly through the complaints call the number provided on the vaccination card, the Med App, and a complaints link provided by the FDA.

He said data showed that as of 1900 hours on Sunday, March 14, nearly 404,000 persons had taken their first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine from the 43 districts earmarked for the first phase.

Those vaccinated include front-line health workers, adults aged 60 years and above, and people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, and cancer.

The others are frontline security personnel, frontline government officials, the media, and all frontline workers in the formal sector.

A total of 20 million Ghanaians are expected to be vaccinated against the virus, Dr. Amponsa-Achiano said, adding that females formed about 62 percent of the number vaccinated so far.

He said about 58,000 persons with underlying health conditions, 91,000 adults aged 60 years and above, about 68,000 health workers, 23,000 frontline security personnel, and more than 48,000 essential service providers had received their first jabs.

Similarly, more than 12,000 members of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature, and 60,000 teachers aged 60 and above, more than 3,000 media persons, and 72,000 ordinary persons had been vaccinated.

Dr. Amponsah-Achiano encouraged the public to keep adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols by wearing a nose mask, observing social distancing, washing hands with soap under running water, or sanitize hands frequently.

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It has an incubation period of four to six days and fatal, especially for those with a weakened immune system, the elderly, and the very young.

It could also result in pneumonia and bronchitis.

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AUDIO:”There’s nothing free in this country, politicians are liars and can’t give you a thing” – Senyo Hosi

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"There’s nothing free in this country, politicians are liars and can't give you a thing" – Senyo Hos

“There’s nothing free in this country, politicians are liars and can’t give you a thing” – Senyo Hos


“There’s nothing free in this country, politicians are liars and can’t give you a thing” – Senyo Hosi; The CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Senyo Hosi has told Ghanaians not to expect anything free in this country.

He has also accused politicians of lying and taking from Ghanaians.

According to him, the leaders of the country should not often tell the people of Ghana electricity prices have been subsidized, when in reality they haven’t.

“And then we just come here and start taxing petrol for sanitation. It’s the easiest thing you do.

“If you have problems with the power crisis, be honest with the people. Let the people know that you are not paying the right price for electricity.

His comments come after the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on PM: Express Monday indicated that Ghanaians will have to pay for the free provision of water and electricity introduced by the government in 2020 as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“When we say free electricity it doesn’t mean that the IPP producer is also going to say because the President has said free electricity I won’t charge for it,” Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said.

But speaking on JoyNews’ Super Morning Show Tuesday, Mr. Hosi urged politicians to be transparent and brutally honest with Ghanaians regarding what it terms as being free.

“Don’t come and tell people that I’ve reduced electricity prices when you know you haven’t. There’s nothing free in this country. The politicians lie.

“They can’t give you a thing. They can only take from you. They can’t give you a thing. So be honest with the people. Stop telling them you’re giving them free stuff. How can I give you free with my right hand and collect two times or three times that much with my left hand? It is dishonest.”

Adding that, if the government incurred a shortfall of $1 billion in the electricity sector in 2020, why hasn’t the price of electricity is priced correctly?

“And then if you want to have a subsidy, go straight and let the public know that we are subsidizing electricity by so much.”

Moreover, the Finance and Economic policy analyst noted that the lack of servant leadership and misplaced priorities in our politicians is what is having an adverse effect on the economy.

“We’re sitting here. We’re not thinking of ways how to actually boost electricity demand. We’re thinking of how to buy V8. That is the conversation that you have.

“Do we look like people who really have a problem? If you’re in a country that is as broke as Ghana looks like today if you see me driving the car that I’m driving, shouldn’t. When I don’t have money, I don’t move that car,” he said.

Mr. Hosi urged the government not to burden Ghanaians with all these taxes it has come up with.

Meanwhile, in the 2021 budget statement, the new taxes and levies which have been introduced include; the financial sector clean-up levy, sanitation and pollution levy, Covid-19 health levy, and the energy sector recovery levy (Delta Fund).

 


source:myjoyonline

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