Ghana: Press highlights planned take off of COVID-19 vaccination on March 2, others

The planned take off of the COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday next week to stop further spread of the viral disease…

The planned take off of the COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday next week to stop further spread of the viral disease and the appeal to members of the public to disregard negative conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine are some of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Graphic reports that Ghana is set to begin COVID-19 vaccination from next Tuesday as part of measures to stop the further spread of the viral disease.

This follows the arrival of the first consignment of 600,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, in Accra yesterday.

The vaccine arrived at exactly 7:45 a.m. aboard Emirates Airlines flight EK787, shifting global attention onto the country for chalking up another first.

Ghana became the first country to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX), which has 92 beneficiary countries signed on to it, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

The Minister designate for Health, Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, led a delegation to receive the vaccines on behalf of the government.

A joint statement by the UNICEF Representative in Ghana, Ms. Anne-Claire Dufay, and the WHO Representative, Dr. Francis Kasolo, on the arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccine in Accra said: “After a year of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 80,700 Ghanaians getting infected with the virus and over 580 lost lives, the path to recovery for the people of Ghana can finally begin.

“This is a momentous occasion, as the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine into Ghana is critical in bringing the pandemic to an end. The only way out of this crisis is to ensure that vaccination is available for all.”

The newspaper says that the Builsa North Municipal Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Upper East Region, Mr. Jeffery Adda, has urged members of the public to disregard negative conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It is obvious that the negative information about the vaccine cannot be sustained,” he said, and urged the aged and people with underlying conditions to get vaccinated when the vaccine was rolled out in the municipality.

Mr. Adda said that when he addressed a community durbar organised by the NCCE in collaboration with the Information Services Department (ISD) to sensitise beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme in the municipality to the COVID-19 vaccine.

He said the commission was mandated to educate members of the public on the COVID-19 vaccine, and to demystify the misconceptions and negative theories about the vaccine among some members of the public.

He explained that the collaboration between the NCCE and the ISD was to assist the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to properly educate, inform and guide members of the public on the vaccine.

For her part, Madam Jennifer Adocta, the Municipal Director of the ISD, said it was necessary to sensitise the public to the need to get vaccinated, and clear any myths about the vaccine in the media, especially on the various social media platforms.

She advised the public to avoid overdependence on social media for information about the COVID-19 vaccines as some of the platforms were saturated with false information.

The Times reports that Lands and Natural Resources Minister-designate, Samuel Abu Jinapor, is hoping to develop a robust salt mining industry to maximise the economic potential of that mineral if approved by Parliament. 

This agenda, he said, would be overseen by a Salt Development Authority to regulate activities of the sector.

“Salt is a very important resource that we have to tap into.

“Ghana is very strategic because we have enough commercial deposits of salt which I believe we have to exploit. To do this, the full value chain of salts has to be established here.

“We cannot build an integrated aluminum, steel, and petrochemical industry without salt. So salt is extremely important to our extractive industry,” Mr. Jinapor, MP, Damango, told the Appointments Committee of Parliament in Accra yesterday.

He said with attempts by President Akufo-Addo in his first term to develop the deposit at Ada in the Greater Accra Region, that effort must be consolidated.

“I think that it has gotten to a point where we probably should consider a salt development authority whose mandate will be responsible for building the full value chain.”

He said it was regrettable that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country imports salt from Southern American country, Brazil, which is thousands of miles away when its close door neighbour has it in abundance.

“Nigeria consumes a lot of salt yet it imports its salt from Brazil simply because we don’t have a salt terminal in Ghana.