Thu, Dec


    • In all, we are expecting some seven hundred and fifty thousand (750,000) persons, comprising five hundred and thirty-two thousand (532,000) JHS 3 students, and two hundred and eighteen thousand (218,000) teaching and non-teaching staff, and invigilators, to be involved in tomorrow’s exercise.

    Fellow Ghanaians, good evening, and thank you for having me in your homes, once again. Two weeks ago, we begun the reopening of our schools, as part of the phased approach to bring our nation back to normalcy, following the outbreak of the novel COVID-19 disease in our country. Since that time, final year University students, SHS 3 and SHS 2 Gold Track students have all returned to school.

    • We are the first country in the world to be recipients of vaccines from the COVAX Facility, and I want to express my appreciation to members of the COVID-19 Taskforce, which I chair, and to officials of the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service for this commendable feat.

    Fellow Ghanaians,

    Good evening, and thank you for welcoming me into your homes once again. You are doing so on one of the sacred days of our nation, 28th February, when the 1948 Christiansborg Crossroads shooting occurred seventy-three (73) years ago, which led to the martyrdoms of Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe, and Private Odartey Lamptey, martyrdoms that ignited the nationalist movement, and led us to the freedom we enjoy today. Let us observe a moment’s silence in honour of their memory, and the memory of all the faithful departed patriots who helped create our nation. May their souls rest in perfect peace.

    • "I want to make it very short, that, It is not true that Ghana will have 3 million people infected before we reach the peak, we would never see that," Dr Nsiah Asare said.

    The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, says his comments on projections on the number of likely Coronavirus (Covid-19) infections in Ghana made during a television interview were taken out of context.

    • “Saliva testing could potentially make it even easier for people to take coronavirus tests at home, without having to use swabs,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

    A weekly coronavirus testing regime using a “no-swab” saliva test is being trialled in Southampton, southern England, and could result in a simpler and quicker way to detect outbreaks of the virus, the British government said on Monday.

    • The Serum Institute is producing the vaccine developed by Oxford University and Astra Zeneca under the local brand name COVISHIELD and will distribute it to India, its neighboring countries and other low and middle income countries.

    India has begun exporting Covid-19 vaccines to neighboring countries with the first batches being shipped Wednesday to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles, the foreign ministry said.

    • “Spending and borrowing trillions of dollars from the Chinese among others is not necessarily the best thing we can do to get our economy to be strong long term,” Romney added.

    One of President Joe Biden’s top economic aides on Sunday will press Democratic and Republican senators for a fresh $1.9 trillion in coronavirus relief to help struggling Americans and avert a larger economic crisis.

    • “Relieved,” proclaimed critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay after becoming one of the first to be inoculated at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. “I feel like healing is coming.”

    Health care workers around the country rolled up their sleeves for the first COVID-19 shots Monday as hope that an all-out vaccination effort can defeat the coronavirus smacked up against the heartbreaking reality of 300,000 U.S. deaths.

    • Amid reports of severe shortage of oxygen supplies and critical medicines such as the anti-viral drug Remdesivir, Modi on Saturday asked authorities to pull out all the stops to ramp up production of COVID-19 vaccines and asked his teams to work closely with local governments.

    India’s capital New Delhi recorded 25,500 coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, with about one in three people tested returning a positive result, its chief minister said, urging the federal government to provide more hospital beds to tackle the crisis.

    • The evidence is mounting, that the burden is growing. And we have no capacity to cope as a country if this trend does not peak and subside. This virus has resurged and is rampaging, ....

    Last Monday I was on my way to work in the morning.  I left home, on a journey that usually takes 30 minutes through the Accra Traffic.  It took me 3 hours. I did not really understand why until I got on campus, and realised that it was because the students had come back, and we were sharing the same entrance.  No preparation had been made for the large numbers of people who would flood the place.  Everyone was using the single entrance, and single exit.  The security men milled around listlessly, trying to shepherd lost drivers unto choked roads.  It was mayhem.  And in all this, no one had thought about the fact that there was a quarternary medical centre on the University Campus, and that its staff would need access on such a day. 

    • While Nadia, the first tiger to have been reported sick was tested under anesthesia, the other cats were tested by using a fecal sample test developed by the zoo’s laboratory partners that did not require the animals be placed under anesthesia.

     Eight big cats at the Bronx Zoo have been discovered to have tested positive for COVID-19.

    • What good gift is there to give our current crop of health students than a health system furnished with these three ideas – Strategy, Capacity building and Constant Information Upgrade.

    Written By Edith Zikpi - If we had the chance to decide if we wanted COVID -19 at all, we – as a country – would have unanimously chose to be unrepresented in that discussion.

    • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an acceptance that the only way to end it and return society to some sense of normalcy was going to be through the discovery of viable vaccines.

    Robert Sears in “The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child” states “most anti-vaccine books claim that all shots are bad, the diseases aren’t really anything to fear, and as long as you live a natural and healthy lifestyle, you don’t have to worry. I think this is a very irresponsible approach to the vaccine issue. Vaccines are beneficial in ridding our population of both serious and nonserious diseases.”

    • The Delta strain COVID-19 was first detected locally in April this year among international arrivals.

    The Ghana Health Service (GHS) will test all day students of Achimota School for COVID-19 to help identify students and contain further community spread of the virus, following an outbreak in the school.

    • Adesina underlined the stark disparities between vaccine acquisitions by several rich countries that have acquired sufficient vaccines to inoculate their populations twice over, and African countries, that remain primarily dependent ...

    African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has called for vaccine justice for Africa. Speaking at the launch of the Bank’s African Economic Outlook 2021 report on Friday, Adesina decried the lack of Covid-19 vaccines reaching Africa.

    • “Until all doubts are dispelled and experts guarantee that it holds no risk for people, we are stopping immunization using that vaccine,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told a Cabinet meeting.

    Officials in several European countries pushed back Friday against decisions by others to pause use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine following sporadic reports of blood clots, despite a lack of evidence the shot was responsible.

    • Less than 2% of the continent’s 1.3 billion people are fully vaccinated and African countries have received just over 100 million vaccine doses, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    At a COVID-19 vaccination site in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, tempers flared among those waiting for scarce AstraZeneca jabs, with some accusing others of trying to jump the queue.

    • A look at the contract signed with Sheik Al Maktoum’s group should leave you concerned. It must because of the people involved in the contract. We hope you are aware that it is now public knowledge that ...

    The last few weeks have been marred by the controversy regarding the importation of Sputnik-V vaccines to Ghana. We doubt if we will have to remind you of the issues that have been raised by many concerned citizens regarding the contracts that have been entered into with the private office of Sheik Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum of United Arab Emirates. We want to set off by saying that no one can fault you for wishing to get vaccines urgently in an attempt to meet your target of vaccinating 20-million Ghanaians (60% of the population) by the end of 2021.

    • He noted that it seems the coronavirus has come to stay and until a cure is found, it has to be lived with.

    The General Overseer of the Action Chapel International Ministry, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, has called for prayers to apprehend the vicious corononavisus to prevent it from spreading in an exclusive interview with Paul Adom-Otchere on Metro TV's Good Evening Ghana programme.

    • Our last check indicates that most of the vaccine stock that can be manufactured, should emergency use authorization be secured between now and June 2021, have been secured by just 15 countries.

    Randy Pausch, in The Last Lecture states, “another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I’m a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst-case scenario. I call it ‘the eaten by wolves’ factor.’ If I do something, what’s the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves? One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist, is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. There are a lot of things I don’t worry about because I have a plan in place if they do.”

    • "No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don't believe in that, no," Trump told Fox News' Chris Wallace when asked if he would consider a national mask mandate.

    President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted a photo of himself wearing a mask, saying, "many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can't socially distance" and "There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President."

    • "In the meantime, AstraZeneca and Oxford University have started on modifications to the vaccine for the South African variant and we expect it will be ready by the end of the year, should it be needed," Walters told the Kurier.

    A modified version of AstraZeneca's (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine tailored to combat a coronavirus variant first documented in South Africa could be ready by the end of 2021, an AstraZeneca official in Austria said in an interview published on Sunday.

    • African researchers meeting this week must devise ways the continent’s economy can do even better than before the coronavirus pandemic hit

    Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020, countries, societies, and individuals have struggled to respond to the pandemic’s devastation of health systems, economies, trade, and human wellbeing. While Africa has been spared the pandemic’s harshest health impacts, it has absorbed a heavy economic burden.

    • The directive, according to the President, was based on data, which suggests that the surge in cases was as a result of non-adherence to preventive protocols at such social gatherings.

    The Minister-designate for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, has explained that the new restrictions on social gatherings as announced by President Akufo-Addo last Sunday, does not mean a ban on marriages.

    • With the spread of the virus rampant, most everything in Bangladesh was ordered shut on July 1, from markets to mass transportation. Soldiers and border guards patrolled the streets and thousands were arrested and sent to jail for violating the lockdown.

    Waiting among hundreds of fellow travelers to catch a ferry out of Bangladesh’s capital, unemployed construction worker Mohammed Nijam knew he was risking catching the coronavirus, but he felt it was even riskier to stay in Dhaka with another lockdown looming.

    • The UN stance might be due to the fragile and complex relationship between two of its veto-wielding, permanent members, the United States (US) and China.

    Written By Dr G. Koryoe Anim-Wright - On March 21, 2020, due to the spread of COVID-19, the President announced the closure of the country’s borders, effective midnight on Sunday, March 22.

    • "Fellow Ghanaians, at this current rate, where-by thirteen (13) out of the sixteen (16) regions have recorded active cases, our healthcare infrastructure will be overwhelmed. If this situation continues, it will severely undermine the efforts Government is making to revitalize the economy, and put our nation back onto the path of progress and prosperity, following the ravages of the pandemic.

    President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has indicated that personnel of the Ghana Police Service, and if need be other security agencies will join in, to strictly enforce the Covid-19 health and safety protocols to stem the spread of the disease in the country.

    • In the best case, officials acknowledge it will take at least a year for any additional vaccines to be produced due to the change. Key European leaders are adamantly opposed to the waivers, and securing the required consensus at the World Trade Organization many never happen.

    It won’t speed the manufacture of vaccines. It enraged the developers who delivered lifesaving doses in record time. But President Joe Biden’s decision to support waiving intellectual property rights for coronavirus shots had a broader purpose: to broadcast his administration’s commitment to global leadership.

    • Biden, seemingly fed up with persistent vaccine resistance among many Americans, delivered a sharp rebuke to those who have yet to get shots, saying “they get sick and fill up our hospitals,” taking beds away from others who need them.

    President Joe Biden on Thursday announced sweeping new pandemic requirements aimed at boosting vaccination rates for millions of federal workers and contractors as he lamented the “American tragedy” of rising-yet-preventable deaths among the unvaccinated.

    • The new president has vowed to take far more aggressive measures to contain the virus than his predecessor, starting with stringent adherence to public health guidance. A key difference is that under Biden, the federal government is assuming full responsibility for the COVID response.

    With a burst of executive orders, President Joe Biden served notice Thursday that America’s war on COVID-19 is under new command, promising an anxious nation progress to reduce infections and lift the siege it has endured for nearly a year.

    • Americans 12 years old and up are already eligible for the Pfizer vaccine under an emergency use authorization, but the vaccine has been fully approved -- an FDA process that takes longer -- for those over 16.

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that the state will require COVID-19 vaccines for all school children ages 12-17 once the FDA grants full approval, becoming the first state in the country to move forward on mandating vaccines for school children.

    • According to virologists, although some of the vaccine’s side effects are similar to the symptoms of COVID-19, the coronavirus vaccines won’t give you COVID-19. The vaccines will also not make you contagious.

    Ghana last Wednesday received the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines through the WHO global vaccine-sharing program. The 600,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca Vaccines were manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, representing part of the first wave of COVID 19 vaccines headed to several low and middle-income countries. The delivery is part of the first wave of arrivals that will continue in the coming days and weeks. With this, Ghana became the first country outside India to receive COVID-19 vaccines shipped via the COVAX Facility. This is deemed a historic step towards the goal of ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.

    • The medical crisis we are confronted with has shown that the world has great benefits but full of ever-present vulnerabilities, without adequate buffers. Investments in infrastructure and public health administration must fundamentally come from the political leadership of the continent supported by the private sector.

    Written By Daniel Asare - One thing the impact of COVID-19 has revealed is that countries are ultimately on their own. It has been more than a year since a new world came into being as a result of COVID-19. It has upturned our pattern of social relations, clobbered our economies and trade relations, and continues to impact our psychological wellbeing.

    • It’s best to avoid certain painkillers before and after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, unless you routinely take them for a medical condition

    It's best to avoid them, unless you routinely take them for a medical condition. Although the evidence is limited, some painkillers might interfere with the very thing the vaccine is trying to do: generate a strong immune system response.

    • Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in people 18 and over, expressing confidence it would work for the elderly even though some countries, including France, have authorized it only for use in people under 65, saying there is not enough evidence it works in older adults.

    Canadian regulators on Friday authorized AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for all adults.

    • The Ad5-nCoV is one of China’s eight vaccine candidates approved for human trials at home and abroad for the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. The shot also won approval for human testing in Canada.

    China’s military has received the greenlight to use a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by its research unit and CanSino Biologics (6185.HK) after clinical trials proved it was safe and showed some efficacy, the company said on Monday.

    • Delta, now in at least 132 countries and already the dominant form of the disease in the United States, is more transmissible than the common cold, the 1918 Spanish flu, smallpox ...

    The CDC warned House lawmakers that the delta variant sweeping across the country is as contagious as chickenpox, has a longer transmission window than the original Covid-19 strain and may make older people sicker, even if they’ve been fully vaccinated.

    • Experimental COVID-19 treatments to go ahead in China as it grapples with imported cases from neighbouring Russia.

    China has approved early-stage human tests for two experimental coronavirus vaccines as it battles to contain imported cases and prevent a second wave of COVID-19.

    • Officials in Nanjing are now on "high alert" and plan to test all the city's residents, having already got through 1.9 million people in one day, the Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.

    For most countries, the spike in Covid-19 cases playing out in China would register as little more than a blip on the chart.

    • While fringe theories may raise eyebrows overseas, the efforts also target a more receptive domestic audience. The social media hashtag “American’s Ft. Detrick,” started by the Communist Youth League, was ...

    Chinese state media have played up questions about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and whether it could be lethal to the very old. A government spokesperson suggests the coronavirus could have emerged from a U.S. military lab.

  •  China recorded three new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland for May 23, following the first day with no new cases since the outbreak began, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement on Sunday.

    • China has COVID-19 largely under control, with relatively small clusters of new local infections in recent months. No new community cases have been reported in mainland China since late January.

    China and the United States should remove all barriers to travel between the two countries if the United States achieves herd immunity for COVID-19 with 90% of its population vaccinated, potentially by August, a Chinese epidemiologist has said.

    • Chinese companies and researchers have been allowed to test eight vaccine candidates in humans at home and abroad, making China a major front-runner in the race to develop a shot against the virus that has killed nearly 500,000 people globally.

    China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said on Sunday that early human test results for a coronavirus vaccine candidate suggested it could be safe and effective, the second vaccine candidate from the firm to show encouraging results in a clinical trial.

    • Although the university has urged caution when it comes to mapping out a firm timeline for when the vaccine -- called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 -- would be in development, a best-case scenario could see for the vaccine’s efficacy determined by fall 2020.

    The first patients have been enrolled in human trials for a coronavirus vaccine at the historic University of Oxford after the U.K.’s Health Secretary said the country would be “throwing everything” behind the project.

    • According to the Unions, an already bad situation has been compounded by the Electoral Commission visiting campuses to register students, thereby breaching the COVID-19 protocols the more.

    Four pre-tertiary education unions in Ghana are demanding the closure of schools in order to avert the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.

    • “I also tested positive for COVID-19, which blew me away," he says in the video. "I was what they call asymptomatic. I didn't have any symptoms, the classic symptoms.”

    Comedian D.L. Hughley announced he tested positive for COVID-19 after collapsing onstage during a performance in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • In New York City, African Americans and Latinos are two times more likely to be hospitalized and to die from COVID than white Americans, according to local officials' figures.

    • Whilst Africa should continue in its quest to obtain enough vaccines for its population, the present situation demands that citizens whether vaccinated or not strictly comply with all the COVID-19 protocols if this third wave is to be controlled.

    “I have not always chosen the safest path. I’ve made my mistakes, plenty of them. I sometimes jump too soon and fail to appreciate the consequences. But I’ve learned something important along the way: I’ve learned to heed the call of my heart. I’ve learned that the safest path is not always the best path and I’ve learned that the voice of fear is not always to be trusted.” Steve Goodier

    • WHO and partners launched the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to speed up the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines

    The World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa joined immunization experts in urging the international community and countries in Africa to take concrete actions to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, as researchers around the world race to find effective protection against the virus.

    • Overall, the study showed the vaccine was safe and all study participants produced antibodies against the virus.

    Moderna Inc’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, the first to be tested in the United States, produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers, according to very early data released by the biotech company on Monday.

    • It is produced from the artemisia plant - the source of an ingredient used in a malaria treatment.

    The president of Tanzania says he will send a plane to Madagascar to import a herbal tonic which has been touted as a cure for coronavirus by the country's president.

    • With a highly transmissible new variant of the virus surging across Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has imposed a third national lockdown in England - its most populous region - ...

    Britain has now given around 2 million people a COVID-19 vaccination, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday ahead of a ramp-up in the roll-out of the shots on Monday.

    • We will end by reminding readers that this war against COVID-19 is not a sprint. If the data and science are to be trusted, we are in this for the long haul and the longer this lasts the more the pressure is going to be put on our collective mental health.

    Over seven decades ago Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung stated that “about a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.” By definition, neurosis is a relatively mild mental illness that is not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety, obsessive behaviour, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch with reality.

    • He did inform Parliament that the time for manufacturing of local vaccines was now, a reason that government had been meeting vaccine manufacturers in the country over the past three days.

    President Akufo-Addo has directed that the cost of COVID-19 antigen test at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) be reduced to $50 from $150.

    • In any community, the last one would want to see is the pointing of fingers at recovered individuals simply because of dreaded life time side effects that the disease may have left them.

    A couple of weeks ago, a discussion that took some space in the media concerned some side effects of COVID-19.

    • But how do we increase spending, especially in countries with weak institutions for mobilising and managing fresh resources, to overcome the crisis and tackle the future?

    Written By Nii Moi Thompson - The recent advice by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for governments to “spend as much as (they) can and then spend a little bit more” to deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is a welcome departure from the fund’s traditional prescriptions of austerity in the midst of economic crises.

    • Social responsibilities of businesses or the affluent are drawn from the amount of social power that they have. To sum it; to whom much is given, much is expected.

    Written By King Nobert - There has not been anytime like this where Ghanaians have high expectations from companies and people of affluence to show they care.

    • I ask that, with such harsh tendencies, do you expect a positive COVID-19 person to share his or her status or present themselves for treatment?

    Written By Mabel Delassie Awuku - “The disease called STIGMA must be treated if we indeed want to see COVID-19 take a bow of defeat”.

    • African Development Bank has raised an exceptional $3 billion, three-year bond to help alleviate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Written By Stefan Nalletamby - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact globally, the African continent, while less affected, is preparing to undergo its own severe social and economic crisis. As of April 7, over 10,000 cases have been reported across 52 countries in Africa (less than 1% of cases globally).

    • In the face of these difficulties, it’s impossible to propose an absolute fit solution; unless you’re the Amazing Kreskin, or Okomfo Anokye, with powers to see into the future. As such, ...

    The other day, I hinted in not so many words that the lifting of the lockdown shouldn’t only be seen via the lens of the science behind Covid-19. Because, while a lockdown may appear crucial for containment of the disease, a number of unintended consequences of a strict lockdown could have even more debilitating effects. For instance, how will those who need to earn on the daily, in order to eat, cope? How will they be able to pay for medical care for themselves and loved ones who may fall ill, or are currently ill from other non-Covid-19 related ailments? Among other needs?

    • The struggle to express the use of sanitizers in local Ghanaian languages depicts the reality of introducing a behavior that was not generally practiced previously and which requires more care in communication.

    A number of very important guidelines have been issued worldwide to address the COVID-19 pandemic, namely:
    • frequently wash hands under running water with soap for at least twenty seconds
    • sanitize hands periodically
    • limit the number of face-to-face interactions
    • observe basic social distancing protocols, etc.

    • The makers of COVID-19 vaccines are figuring out how to tweak their recipes just in case the shots need an update against worrisome virus mutations

    The makers of COVID-19 vaccines are figuring out how to tweak their recipes against worrisome virus mutations — and regulators are looking to flu as a blueprint if and when the shots need an update.

    • From an average of about 170 daily infections, the country is now recording 700 cases each day. This is more than scary and calls for urgent action and measures to contain the situation. The worst part is that new variants, ...

    Written By By Bubu Klinogo, a Journalist.- Ghana’s COVID-19 situation is moving from bad to worse at an alarming rate. Currently, there are 5,786 active cases with 433 deaths out of 68,559 total confirmed cases since the country recorded its first case about a year ago.

    • The summer wave was fueled by the extra-contagious delta variant combined with stark resistance to vaccinations that formed along political and geographic lines, ...

    The summer that was supposed to mark America’s independence from COVID-19 is instead drawing to a close with the U.S. more firmly under the tyranny of the virus, with deaths per day back up to where they were in March.

    • So far, almost 79 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have arrived in Africa and 21 million people, or just 1.6% of Africa’s population, are fully vaccinated. High-income countries have given 61 times more doses per person than low-income countries.

    COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Africa are rapidly ramping up from multiple sources after a near-halt to deliveries in recent months. Nearly 4 million doses from COVAX arrived in Africa last week, compared with around 2.3 million doses from the facility throughout the month of June.

    • So, how about malaria vaccines? Can the rapid interest in life-saving COVID-19 vaccines spur world scientists on to get us malaria vaccines in record time?

    Good news, as the world works progressively towards COVID-19 vaccines and their administration. Currently, the global figures, one year since the outbreak of the disease, is reportedly a little over 110 million cases of which close to 62 million have recovered and about 2.44 million have died.

    • The majority of sellers came from France, Germany, the UK, and the USA, and the prices per dose ranged from $250 to $1,200, with an average cost of about $500

    The entire globe is currently undergoing one of the largest and most complex vaccination campaigns in history, and, not surprisingly, scammers and sellers on the dark market have been eager to make a profit off the process.

    • The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are mRNA-based, while that of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is adenovirus.

    Written By Richard Owusu Nyarko - The World Health Organisation (WHO) is not compromising on vaccine efficacy in the fight against COVID-19.

    • The Greater Accra Region - 1,795 - has the highest number of infections among the 12 regions with confirmed cases, followed by the Ashanti Region - 99 and the Eastern Region with 21 cases.

    Confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Ghana has surged by over 400 cases in two days to a total of 2,074.

    • The guidelines said Ghana’s determination to beat the virus was guided by science and the evidence available.

    The Ghana Education Service (GES) has come out with the guidelines for the reopening of schools.

    • He said: "In view of our ability to undertake aggressive contact tracing of infected persons, the enhancement of our capacity to test, the expansion in the numbers of our treatment and isolation centres, our better understanding of the dynamism of the virus, ...

    President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that the three-week partial lockdown on Greater Accra, Kasoa and Greater Kumasi will be lifted at 1 am on Monday, April 20, 2020.

    • The statement added that "The President will during this precautionary self-isolation period, be working from the Presidential Villa at the Jubilee House, Accra"

    In compliance with Covid-19 protocols President Akufo-Addo is voluntarily observing the mandatory 14-day self-isolation prescription after an individual within his inner circle tested positive for the virus.

    • Regrettably, in a matter of four weeks, as at January 27, the active cases have reportedly shot up to 3813 with 377 deaths and the country’s reported average daily cases stands at 600. That sounds scary.

    The infected COVID-19 patients last year were reported as cases, so the impact of the disease was not quite felt.

    • The United States has worked closely with Ghana since the start of the pandemic and has contributed over $30 million to support public health efforts and the COVID-19 response in Ghana. These funds ....

    More than 1.2 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United States arrived in Ghana on Saturday morning.

    • In a joint briefing online with doctors at Shanghai hospital, the Africa CDC said that in comparison to the rest of the world there were very few treatments happening on the continent.

    The Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has outlined some of the trials going on for Covid-19 treatment and vaccination in Africa.

    • Remdesivir, which previously failed as a treatment for Ebola, is being tried against COVID-19 because it is designed to disable the mechanism by which certain viruses make copies of themselves and potentially overwhelm their host’s immune system.

    The top U.S. infectious disease official said Gilead Sciences Inc’s experimental antiviral drug remdesivir will become the standard of care for COVID-19 after early results from a key clinical trial on Wednesday showed it helped patients recover more quickly from the illness caused by the coronavirus.

    • The cynicism around vaccine is not new, and has often been driven by a small hardcore group. This group has always understood the dynamics around vaccine acceptance and know that in every society ...

    “The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden. A single lifetime, even though entirely devoted to the sky, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject and so, this knowledge will be unfolded only through long successive ages. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them. Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come when the memory of us will have been effaced.” - Seneca

    • Wearing of face masks must be forcefully enforced at all points and those who flout it should be punished as a deterrent.

    I am not sure what is in the name delta for this deadly and highly transmissible variant of COVID-19 to have been so christened. I wondered and did not spare a minute to look up the dictionary meaning of the word.

    • After one year of struggle with the Corona Virus Pandemic, a vaccine has finally been found in the West. What of the earlier discoveries in Africa? Or they don’t meet WHO standards?

    Written By Hillary Adongo - Indeed the year 2020 will go down in record as the year the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) swept through, shook and brought on its knees the economies of the world after the Spanish Flu pandemic a century ago.

    • One would have thought that a pandemic claiming more than two million lives, and which has received such extensive media coverage, would convince people of its reality.

    Written By Dr Nathanael Adjei-Kyeremeh - Since the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, scientists, governments, and the public at large have had to contend not only with the virus itself, but also with misinformation leading to a significant portion of society denying its existence, and calling it a hoax.

  • The Chairman of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, has proposed the establishment of a major laboratory in the sub-region that would enable member countries to produce vaccines to deal with emerging diseases and viruses.

    • Rival Regeneron Pharmacuticals Inc has said it plans to start clinical studies in June to test its antibody cocktail treatment for the new coronavirus and is aiming to have hundreds of thousands of preventative doses available by the end of August.

    Eli Lilly and Co said on Monday it had started an early-stage trial to test its potential treatment for COVID-19, in the world’s first study of an antibody treatment against the disease.

    • A lot has been said and written about the poor and disadvantaged in our society not being overawed by the threat of COVID-19, because they see hunger as a bigger and more immediate threat.

    At the beginning of the year, I was having a conversation with a friend about what Ghana and Africa should do to enable us to make this elusive breakthrough to economic success.

    • The European Medicines Agency predicted that there could be licensed drugs to treat the new coronavirus in the next few months and that a vaccine might even be approved in early 2021, in a “best-case scenario.”

    The European Medicines Agency predicted that there could be licensed drugs to treat the new coronavirus in the next few months and that a vaccine might even be approved in early 2021, in a “best-case scenario.”

    • Fauci said government experts are reviewing early data as they consider whether to recommend that vaccinated individuals to get booster shots. He suggested that ...

    The United States is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.

  • U.S. regulators on Monday added a new warning to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine about links to a rare and potentially dangerous neurological reaction, but said it’s not entirely clear the shot caused the problem.

    • Initial supplies will likely be vastly outstripped by demand as the U.S. has surged past 12 million reported cases, with the country facing what health experts say will be a dark winter due to uncontrolled spread of the virus.

    U.S. health officials Saturday agreed to allow emergency use of a second antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19, an experimental medicine that President Donald Trump was given when he was sickened last month.

    • The agency said the drug has not been approved as a general treatment for COVID-19. Rather, it is only intended for emergency use on severely ill patients who have been hospitalized.

     The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency use authorization for the antiviral remdesivir to treat COVID-19.

    • The analysis is just one step in the FDA’s evaluation. On Friday, the agency’s independent advisers will debate if the evidence is strong enough to recommend the shot. With that advice, the FDA is expected to make a final decision within days.

    Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine offers strong protection against severe COVID-19, according to an analysis released Wednesday by U.S. regulators that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.

    • Thus, it is possible in this instance to kill two birds with the same stone and fight both COVID-19 and CSM from a public health education standpoint.

    In war, the inevitable death of innocent civilians in the prosecution of an army’s agenda is termed collateral damage. Alan Dershowitz goes further by claiming that asymmetrical warfare is a euphemism for terrorism, just like collateral damage is a euphemism for killing innocent civilians.

  • Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta off to U.S for Post-Covid-19 Health Check

    • The facial expressions that we depend on to asses our clients have been taken away, but sometimes it’s not just facial masks that people wear, but ear masks, eye masks, heart masks, brain masks… and it does not matter how loud one shouts. They will do what they will do.

    I have two friends in ICU now. One has been on a ventilator for the last 2 weeks, and one is not. Their faces are always on my mind. Every day, I make that call that apprises me on their clinical numbers. I say a prayer. I trust that they both get better. I look forward to seeing them someday soon. There is always my doctor’s mind that never loses sight of the worst case scenario. But I have got to keep pushing the harsh reality of the swelling limbs, the worsening numbers, and how the last CT scan looked. I need to push that reality away, and believe. I have lost a few friends since January. I have to believe I will not lose more. 

    • Since the announcement, on Wednesday, 11th March 2020, of the first set of restrictions to help win the fight against the virus, several others have been imposed by Government to this end.

    Fellow Ghanaians, good evening.

    I wish all of you a happy and prosperous New Year. We have to be thankful to Almighty God for seeing us through 2020, undoubtedly one of the most eventful years in the history of mankind.

    • Fellow Ghanaians, I urge all of us to continue to live responsibly with the virus, even as we work towards accessing the vaccine. Details of the access and roll-out plan will be announced very soon. Let us work constantly at how to do our work, keep our businesses and places of worship open, and send our children to school, all in safety.

    Fellow Ghanaians, good evening.

    Before I start, let me use this opportunity to thank you all and Almighty God for enabling me to swear, for the second time, the oath of office as President of the Republic. The ceremony took place after I last spoke to you. I promise I will do my very best to live up to your expectations.

    • The total number of active cases has more than doubled, from a little over one thousand, nine hundred (1,900), two weeks ago, to five thousand, three hundred and fifty-eight (5,358) currently. When I ...

    Address To The Nation By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic, On Sunday, 31st January 2021

    Fellow Ghanaians, good evening.

    I came into your homes, on 17th January, to give an account of our COVID-19 situation – a situation which, per available data at the time, was not good. To this end, I appealed to you, my fellow Ghanaians, to help contain the spread of the virus by respecting the protocols Government had put in place. The hope was that we would begin to see an improvement in our case count, as a result. Two weeks on from that address, the situation is even worse.  

    • However, in recent weeks, we have seen a marked increase in the number of cases. As at Friday, 23rd July 2021, three (3) weeks later, the Ghana Health Service is now reporting that our total number of active cases stands at four thousand, five hundred and twenty-one (4,521). A total of ...

    Fellow Ghanaians, good evening.

    I have not come into your homes for some time, because I had hoped that the next time I did so, I would come to announce that we were ready to lift the restrictions and protocols, and get our lives and economy back to normal. Alas, that is not the case, so it has become necessary for me to come to your homes this evening, after a ten (10) week absence, to provide you with an update on our nation’s COVID-19 situation.

    • But the leaders, under pressure over their vaccination campaigns at home, were unwilling to say exactly how much vaccine they were willing to share with the developing world, or when.

    Leaders of the Group of Seven economic powers promised Friday to immunize the world’s neediest people against the coronavirus by giving money, and precious vaccine doses, to a U.N.-backed vaccine distribution effort.

    • The statement said the ministers adopted preventative measures to contain the pandemic, but did not elaborate.

    Health ministers from the Group of 20 major economies discussed weaknesses in health systems that made the world vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak and other pandemics, a statement said after a virtual meeting on Sunday.

    • Travelers from those areas must produce a recent negative coronavirus test before entering Germany.

    Germany announced Sunday that travelers from France’s northeastern Moselle region will face additional restrictions due to the high rate of variant coronavirus cases there.

    • The drugmaker’s own review covering more than 17 million people who have received its shot in the EU and Britain found no evidence of increased risk of blood clots.

    Germany, France and other European nations announced plans to resume using AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday after EU and British regulators moved to shore up confidence in the shot, saying its benefits outweigh the risks.

    • Ghana is among 92 countries that will receive vaccines for free through the initiative, which is led by the WHO; Gavi, a vaccine group; and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Another 90 countries and eight territories have agreed to pay.

    Ghana received the world’s first delivery of coronavirus vaccines from the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative on Wednesday — the long-awaited start for a program that has thus far fallen short of hopes that it would ensure shots were given quickly to the world’s most vulnerable people.

    • “After recovering from Covid-19 last December, Mr. Ofori-Atta has had medical complications, which doctors advise, require further interventions not currently available in Ghana,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement Sunday.

    Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is traveling to the U.S. for “a special medical review” that will delay a parliament hearing expected to confirm his reappointment to his post.

  • Ghana is now recording an average of 400 new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a day, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, has said.

    • Per an interim distribution forecast published by the COVAX facility on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, the consignment is expected to cover at least 3 per cent of Ghana’s population.

    Ghana is expected to receive about 2.4 million initial doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine by end of February 2021 under the UN COVAX facility, it has been announced.

    • he new tally means that 112 new cases have been confirmed with 21 more people recovering since Sunday, April 19, when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo updated the figures.

    The confirmed COVID-19 (Coronavirus) case count in Ghana has increased to 1,154.

    • According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the increasing number of cases can be attributed to the ongoing enhanced surveillance exercise.

    The Coronavirus disease cases in Ghana have increased by 70 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 636.

    • But in a reaction, Dr Kuma-Aboagye noted that “if you look at the data, we peaked on April 27 this year and since then, the numbers have continued to come down till the last update, ...

    The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says Ghana recorded its highest confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on April 25 and has since seen a decline in the number of positive cases.

    • The pandemic has presented a public policy opportunity for both government and citizens to effectively collaborate in building a highly formalized economy with good information and a strong digital base.

    Written By Joe Amoako-Tuffour - We cannot know how society protects its weakest and vulnerable, those at the bottom of society, from deprivation until a catastrophe such as COVID-19, the “unseeable, undead, unliving blob”, to use the words of Arundhati Roy, is unleashed on us.

    • The price tag is slightly below the range of $2,520 to $2,800 suggested last week by U.S. drug pricing research group the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) after British researchers said they found that the cheap, widely available steroid dexamethasone significantly reduced mortality among severely ill COVID-19 patients.

    Gilead Sciences Inc on Monday priced its COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir at $2,340 per patient for wealthier nations and agreed to send nearly all of its supply of the drug to the United States over the next three months.

  • This week, health care providers began administering the first doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. — the third vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to help stop the coronavirus pandemic.

    • Ghana on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, took delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield).

    Government says it is working to secure additional 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in order to ensure that it achieves head immunity by the end of 2021.

    • The new guidance is likely to open the door to confusion, since there is no surefire way for businesses or others to distinguish between those who are fully vaccinated and those who are not.

    In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

    • The striking theme in his narrative was God as his sole source of strength and guidance in overcoming all life’s challenges. Much as he was cautious and receptive to directives and general health advice, it was obvious that he was not perturbed.

    A few days ago, I called an elderly gentleman who attends my local church to check on him and how he was coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. I was amazed at how relaxed and upbeat he sounded on the phone.

    • “To my colleagues who say this bill is bold, I say it’s bloated,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “To those who say it’s urgent, I say it’s unfocused. To those who say it’s popular, I say it is entirely partisan.”

    The House approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in a win for President Joe Biden, even as top Democrats tried assuring agitated progressives that they’d revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage.

    • These findings suggest that Covid-19 has a “neurotropic inclination, meaning that it attacks neurons”, Lledo continued. The best-known neurotropic virus is rabies, which attacks the central nervous system almost exclusively. The fact that Covid-19 is primarily a respiratory illness in no way prevents it from having this neurological aspect.

    Not only does Covid-19 damage the lungs, heart and kidneys, it can also cause severe brain damage – with patients suffering neurological conditions including paranoia and hallucinations, a British scientific study has revealed.

    • The world's biggest COVID-19 vaccine test got underway July 27 with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers. The experimental vaccine is made by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., and it's one of several candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race.

    Dr. Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna Therapeutics, said the biotech firm would become the first U.S. company to enter Phase III of a clinical trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine.

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF), says Ghana has effectively managed the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • The visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center marked Trump’s first public appearance with a face covering since the virus began sweeping across the United States earlier this year.

    President Donald Trump, who has avoided wearing a mask in public even as the coronavirus pandemic spread, donned one on Saturday at a military medical facility outside Washington where he was to meet with wounded soldiers and front-line health-care workers.

    • India leads the world in the daily average number of new infections reported in more than two weeks, accounting for one in every six infections reported globally each day, according to a Reuters tally.

    India on Sunday banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients as demand rocketed due to a record surge in COVID-19 infections and led to crippling shortages in many parts.

    • The government says it will go ahead with plans to ease lockdown restrictions on Monday. People in England will be able to ...

    Britain’s health minister says a fast-spreading coronavirus variant first identified in India is likely to become the dominant strain of the virus in the U.K.

    • Iran has been the epicentre of the pandemic in the Middle East. In February, it closed several crossing points with Iraq in an effort to stem the spread of the UK variant.

    Iran imposed a 10-day lockdown across most of the country on Saturday to curb the spread of a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, state media reported.

    • President Akufo-Addo and the Vice President Bawumia, together with their spouses, led by example by becoming the first set of Ghanaians to take the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday morning ahead of the public roll out on Tuesday.

    The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says it is in the collective interest of all Ghanaians to take the Covid-19 vaccine rolled out by the government to aid the bid to get the deadly virus out of the country.

    • Italy on Friday topped 5,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day for the first time since March. Daily infections remained over 5,000 both on Saturday and Sunday.

    Italy is preparing fresh nationwide restrictions, including on private parties, in response to a recent spike in new coronavirus cases, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Sunday.

    • Rising infections caused by more infectious variants are threatening to overwhelm the hospitals of many EU countries - where the pace of vaccinations lags far behind Britain and the United States - forcing France and others to reimpose lockdowns.

    Italy recommended on Wednesday that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot only be used on those over 60 and Britain that people under 30 should get an alternative, due to possible links between the vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots.

    • On the evening of Feb. 20, 2020, a hospital in Codogno, northern Italy confirmed that a 38-year-old Italian man was infected with the coronavirus. The man ...

    Pope Francis and Italy’s president on Saturday marked a newly established annual day to honor doctors, nurses and other health care workers, exactly one year after the nation’s first known native case of COVID-19 emerged.

    • The one-dose option worked better in the U.S. — 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 — compared with 66% in Latin America and 57% in South Africa, where a more contagious mutant virus is spreading.

    Johnson & Johnson asked U.S. regulators Thursday to clear the world’s first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, an easier-to-use option that could boost scarce supplies.

    • J&J said a new package label will include a warning on the risk of the rare side effect and instructions on how to recognize and treat it. The company said it would restart shipments to the European Union, Norway and Iceland, and is working on restarting clinical trials.

    Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) said on Tuesday it will resume rolling out its COVID-19 vaccine in Europe after the region’s medical regulator said the benefits of the shot outweigh the risk of very rare, potentially lethal blood clots.

    • All COVID-19 vaccines train the body to recognize the new coronavirus, usually by spotting the spikey protein that coats it. But they’re made in very different ways.

    The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.

    • The approval was granted in a special fast-track process for emergency use. It took two months compared to the usual one year in a country known for cautious and slow-moving approval processes.

    Japan on Sunday formally approved its first COVID-19 vaccine and said it would start nationwide inoculations within days, but months behind the U.S. and many other countries.

    • They cited violations of the U.S. Constitution, along with the New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law, because the state Department of Health regulation requiring workers to get the vaccine provided no exemption for “sincere religious beliefs that compel the refusal of such vaccination.”

    A federal judge temporarily blocked the state of New York on Tuesday from forcing medical workers to be vaccinated after a group of health care workers sued, saying their Constitutional rights were violated because the state's mandate disallowed religious exemptions.

    • Since DeSantis signed the mandatory mask ban order on July 30, 13 school boards representing more than half of Florida's 2.8 million students have adopted mask requirements with an opt-out only for medical reasons.

    A Florida judge ruled Wednesday that the state cannot enforce a ban on public schools mandating the use of masks to guard against the coronavirus, while an appeals court sorts out whether the ban is ultimately legal.

    • Case studies that traced back COVID-19 outbreaks at the beginning of the pandemic, have found that the main sources of infections in the community lead back to the workplace, public transportation, social gatherings, and restaurants — indoor environments, with limited air circulation, and many people spending a prolonged period of time in the same place.

    Recommendations on how to protect ourselves from contracting the virus that causes COVID-19 are everywhere, like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and staying at least 6 feet away from people outside your home. But not all risks are created equal; home, public transportation and the grocery store all have different challenges.

    • The disinfection was necessary because some staff and patrons of the clinic tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

    The Korle Bu Polyclinic has reopened after it was closed down to make way for disinfection.

    • Our view is that the police should have probed this route further in an attempt to achieve a middle ground. We hold this view because the police ignored the violations of all Executive Instruments before, during and after the 7th December General Election; ...

    In the past week, there has been significant agitation by a section of Ghanaians regarding the need for the government to fix the country. For these people, there is so much to be said for the aspirational future of the Ghanaian youth. Members of Parliament who are deemed to have let their constituents down are being named and shamed by the pressure group that has emerged from this social media agitation. Consequentially, the group informed the Ghana Police Service of their intention to invoke their democratic rights to mass protest to show their disdain towards the despondency they find themselves in.

    • Footage on social media shows that many are not adhering to COVID-19 hygiene, social & physical distancing and face mask protocols, as they attend political gatherings. Unfortunately, ...

    “What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.”

    • Other countries that have done so over the past few days include Denmark, which was the first, as well as Ireland, Thailand, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Congo and Bulgaria. Canada and Britain are standing by the vaccine for now.

    A cascading number of European countries — including Germany, France, Italy and Spain — suspended use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday over reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients, though the company and international regulators say there is no evidence the shot is to blame.

    • “These shots need to get in everybody's arms as rapidly as possible or we’re going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don't yearn for — that we went through last year,” he said. “This is not complicated.”

    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell implored unvaccinated Americans Tuesday to take the COVID-19 shot, issuing a stark and grave warning of a repeat of last year's rising caseloads and shutdowns if people refuse to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

    • Even with the news of a potentially effective new treatment, experts stressed the importance of vaccines for controlling the pandemic, given that they help prevent transmission and also reduce the severity of illness in those who do get infected.

    In a potential leap forward in the global fight against the pandemic, drugmaker Merck said Friday that its experimental pill for people sick with COVID-19 reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half.

    • In a reminder of how volatile the situation is, the prime minister was spending “freedom day” in quarantine. Johnson and Treasury chief Rishi Sunak are both self-isolating for 10 days after contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

    Corks popped, beats boomed out and giddy revelers rushed onto dancefloors when England’s nightclubs reopened Monday as the country lifted most remaining restrictions after more than a year of lockdowns, mask mandates and other pandemic-related curbs on freedom.

    • A country of 32 million can not lack ideas on how to deliver food in a dignified manner to its citizens that are in need. We must reflect and get it right.

    Written By Awal Ahmed Kariama - “When you share your last crust of bread with a beggar, you mustn't behave as if you were throwing a bone to a dog. You must give humbly, and thank him for allowing you to have a part in his hunger.” - Giovanni Guareschi

  • Moderna Inc said on Monday it was informed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) certain documents related to pre-submission talks of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate were unlawfully accessed in a cyberattack on the medicines regulator.

    • Currently, Pfizer has the only U.S. vaccine authorized for children 12 years and up, while Moderna is expecting an FDA ruling on its application in the coming days.

    Moderna said Monday it plans to expand the size of its COVID-19 vaccine study in younger children to better detect rare side effects, such as a type of heart inflammation recently flagged by U.S. health authorities.

    • Moderna’s is the second vaccine the FDA has considered, behind one from Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech, which was authorized last week. Hospitals in the U.S. began giving the Pfizer shots on Monday.

    Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine appeared set for regulatory authorization this week after U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff endorsed it as safe and effective in documents released Tuesday.

    • The variant, which was first found in Manaus, Brazil, appears to be more contagious than other COVID-19 strains. It can potentially be contracted by someone who was already infected or who has been vaccinated.

    A coronavirus variant that was first detected in Brazil has emerged in Oregon, the first known case of the new variant on the contiguous U.S. West Coast, medical authorities said Tuesday.

    • Africa’s biggest multilateral financial institution the African Development Bank is investing three (3) billion dollars to support the production of COVID-19 vaccines by Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. These developments are ...

    Written By Theresa Owusu Ako - Though Covid-19 has brought in its wake so much anguish, devastation, real havoc including deaths and heavy economic downturn, the disease has however compelled the world to engage in serious thinking outside the box. There is now an innovation galore. Though many businesses have collapsed, others are booming especially the giant pharmaceutical companies and other industries and individuals who produce Personal Protective Equipment such as gowns, sanitisers, liquid soap, nose masks and tissue paper.

    • The masks, however, cannot steal the smiles that show in our eyes even when the mask covers the mouth and nose. We all need to stay strong and help fight COVID-19.

    Written By Dr Hilda Mantebea Boye - Many people all over the world have been quite anxious about the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Many have lost their loved ones, their livelihoods and even their minds from the impact of this pandemic. On March 12, 2020, Ghana confirmed its first cases of COVID-19.

    • National COVID-19 Fund receives over GH¢12million in donations

    Nineteen organisations and individuals have donated cheques, a vehicle and other items valued over Ghc12.6 million to the COVID-19 Trust Fund to support efforts at ameliorating the negative effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on Ghanaians.

    • The federal recommendations quickly plunged Americans into another emotionally charged debate over the face coverings meant to curb easy transmission of the deadly coronavirus.

    New guidance from the federal government set off a cascade of mask rules across the nation Wednesday as cities, states, schools and businesses raced to restore mandates and others pushed back against the guidelines at a time when Americans are exhausted and confused over constantly shifting pandemic measures.

    • Two research groups — at Caltech and Columbia University in New York — released papers this week describing their findings about the new variant. Neither paper has been published or reviewed by other scientists.

    Another mutated version of the coronavirus has popped up in New York City, and experts reacted to the the news with a mixture of caution and concern.

    • According to the institute, those who have tested positive for the delta variant of the COVID-19 have very high viral loads and it takes a longer period to clear the virus from their system.

    The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) of the University of Ghana has recommended that the government to take a second look at the state of adherence to COVID-19 preventive protocols and appropriate restrictions.

    • Beijing has distributed hundreds of millions of doses abroad while trying to promote doubt about the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine made using the previously experimental messenger RNA, or mRNA, process.

    In a rare admission of the weakness of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, the country’s top disease control official says their effectiveness is low and the government is considering mixing them to get a boost.

    • Arguably, Ghana was the first African country to announce lockdown and also closing all its borders. The restrictions in attendance to churches, mosques, restaurants, and other recreational centers, ...

    Written By Dr. Nana Sifa Twum - Exactly a year ago, Ghana announced the first two recorded Coronavirus cases in the country. This was after few months that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared the disease a public health emergency of international concern. It became the highest level of alarm under international law. The WHO published an interactive timeline showcasing how the organization has taken action on information, science, leadership, advice, response and resourcing. A year on, Ghana’s Covid-19 death toll has reached 656, with active case standing at 4,782 with 272 new cases recorded, leading to 86,737 total confirmed cases. Experts are of the opinion that the figures might have been terrible but for the pragmatic and prudent measures put in by the Government, which was hailed across the globe. Ghana is said to have been one of the world’s best countries to have managed the spread of COVID-19 very well.

    • But the measures we take must not, for the love of God and country, include locking down, as has been suggested by some experts.

    Dear Mr President, May I share these few thoughts as you prepare for your update number 22 on measures taken against the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many Ghanaians, I am worried about the spike in cases of the coronavirus in our country.

    • An Alabama pastor says more than 40 people have been infected with the coronavirus after attending a multi-day revival event at his Baptist church

    More than 40 people were infected with the coronavirus after attending a multi-day revival event at a north Alabama Baptist church, according to the congregation's pastor.

    • Pfizer's vaccine won't be rolled out in any mass immunization campaign just yet. First, the company must demonstrate that the vaccine is not just effective, but also safe.

    In a promising development, an initial glimpse at the data from Pfizer's ongoing late-stage clinical trial shows that the company's vaccine is more effective at preventing COVID-19 than placebo.

    • Vaccinating teens is considered a critical step in curbing community spread. Right now, Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for teens 16- and 17-years-old with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson still studying the impact on teens.

     Pfizer, the first vaccine maker to become authorized in the U.S., on Friday asked federal regulators to authorize its vaccine for kids as young as 12, insisting that recent clinical trials showed it’s both safe and effective.

    • The younger teens received the same vaccine dosage as adults and had the same side effects, mostly sore arms and flu-like fever, chills or aches that signal a revved-up immune system, especially after the second dose.

    U.S. regulators on Monday expanded the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12, offering a way to protect the nation’s adolescents before they head back to school in the fall and paving the way for them to return to more normal activities.

    • There were 2,268 participants ages 5 to 11 in the trial, which, while it still followed a two-dose regimen, used a lesser dose than the amount given to people ages 12 and older, for the "safety, tolerability and immunogenicity" of younger children.

    Data shows the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11, the companies announced Monday morning.

    • In laboratory tests, blood from several dozen people given their first dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines “barely inhibited” the delta variant, the team reported in the journal Nature. But ...

    Pfizer is about to seek U.S. authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, saying Thursday that another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity and maybe help ward off the latest worrisome coronavirus mutant.

    • The risk of infection fell 90% by two weeks after the second shot, the study of nearly 4,000 U.S. healthcare personnel and first responders found.

    COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc with BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc reduced risk of infection by 80% two weeks or more after the first of two shots, according to data from a real-world U.S. study released on Monday.

    • “We are still living in uncertain and difficult times due to the pandemic,” Francis said. “Many are frightened about the future and burdened by social problems, personal problems, ...

    In his New Year’s wishes to the world, Pope Francis encouraged people Saturday to focus on the good which unites them and decried violence against women while acknowledging that the coronavirus pandemic has left many scared and struggling amid economic inequality.

    • Ghana does not have to wait for the situation to worsen. Rather we need to act more aggressively at the time our curve is not showing any sign of flattening and take steps to try and contain it.

    Written By Adib Saani - The President HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo won international admiration with his acclaimed statement, "we know what to do to bring our economy back to life. What we do not know how to do is to bring people back to life".

    • Peskov didn’t say when Putin began self-isolating, when he tested negative, how long he would remain in self-isolation or who among the president’s contacts was infected.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin entered self-isolation after people in his inner circle became infected with the coronavirus, the Kremlin said Tuesday, adding that the leader himself tested negative for COVID-19.

    • Our other concern is the risk of fuelling vaccine hesitancy across the continent if the message around these expired vaccines is not communicated properly. This could be driven mainly by anti-vaccination groups and individuals who could question why other medicines are not used after their expiry date but we are being made to disregard this norm and make exceptions.

    Adam Smith in “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” argues that, “the prudent man is always sincere, and feels horror at the very thought of exposing himself to the disgrace which attends upon the detection of falsehood. But though always sincere, he is not always frank and open; and though he never tells anything but the truth, he does not always think himself bound, when not properly called upon, to tell the whole truth. As he is cautious in his actions, so he is reserved in his speech; and never rashly or unnecessarily obtrudes his opinion concerning either things or persons.”

  • Three grabbed for stealing and selling Covid-19 vaccine

    • In Oregon, health officials are trying to contain an outbreak of over 200 new cases in Union County linked to the Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church.

    New coronavirus infections hit record highs in six U.S. states on Tuesday, marking a rising tide of cases for a second consecutive week as most states moved forward with reopening their economies.

    • Micro-organisms in the environment thrive in favourable conditions for multiplication and domination of a given terrain. That means, when the conditions are right, they will multiply.

    Written By Dr. Antwi Boniface Yeboah - The increasing number of reported infections in the battle against the Coronavirus should not leave us troubled and hopeless. Instead, it should revive the can-do-spirit of the Ghanaian in us all.

    • Russia’s health care system, vast yet underfunded, has been under significant strains in recent weeks, as the pandemic surges again and daily infections and virus death regularly break records.

    When Yekaterina Kobzeva, a nurse at a preschool in Russia’s Ural Mountains, began having trouble breathing, she called an ambulance. It was four days before she managed to find a free hospital bed.

    • They are 37-year-old Disease Control Officer of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Stephen Dzisenu; 42-year-old Occupational Health and Safety Officer, Cosmos Allotey and a Project Assistant and a former Laboratory Technician at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Joseph Knight Gaisie.

    The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has initiated an administrative inquiry into the alleged stealing and selling of COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana at GH¢200 per jab.

  • Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, sees AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate as a “very good” option, giving it a major vote of confidence after some experts raised questions around its trial data.

    • The CDC recently announced the updated guidance, citing new evidence that vaccinated people who get breakthrough infections could carry enough virus in their noses and throats to infect others.

    Should vaccinated people mask up with COVID-19 cases rising?

    • The coronavirus has been growing more genetically diverse, and scientists say the high rate of new cases is the main reason. Each new infection gives the virus a chance to mutate as it makes copies of itself.

    Scientists are reporting troubling signs that some recent mutations of the virus that causes COVID-19 may modestly curb the effectiveness of two current vaccines, although they stress that the shots still protect against the disease.

    • The government has urged anyone 18 or over who hasn’t been vaccinated to turn up at hospitals, town centers and mobile clinics nationwide for a shot and, in an attempt to encourage them, dropped requirements that they must register for an appointment in advance.

    South Africa launched a new COVID-19 vaccination drive Friday and will try to give doses to 500,000 people in two days to reinvigorate a flagging campaign that’s coming up against hesitancy and complacency in the continent’s worst-affected country.

    • South Africa’s decision to go back to a stricter lockdown reinforces — as the crisis in India has already done so starkly — how the global pandemic is far from over.

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Sunday that his country will return to stricter lockdown measures in the face of a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases that indicate the virus is “surging again” in Africa’s worst-affected nation.

    • One study, involving around 2,000 people, found the vaccine offered "minimal protection" against mild and moderate cases of Covid-19. The government says it will use other vaccines in the meantime.

    South Africa on Sunday said it would suspend its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after initial trials showed "disappointing" results against the B.1.351 variant of COVID-19 .

    • The delta variant, first discovered in India, appears to be driving South Africa’s new increase, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Sunday night, announcing the return to strict measures.

    Battling a fast-increasing surge of COVID-19 cases, South Africa has reintroduced tough restrictions including a ban on alcohol sales and an extended nightly curfew.

    • Some previous studies have indicated that the Pfizer/BioNTech shot was less potent against the B.1.351 variant than against other variants of the coronavirus, but still offered a robust defence.

    The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can “break through” Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed.

    • For most people, the risks of coronavirus are far worse than the rare possibility of side effects from the vaccines, Choi said, adding that the best way to end the pandemic was to vaccinate everyone who can receive it.

    South Korean authorities said on Sunday they will move ahead with a coronavirus vaccination drive this week, after deciding to continue using AstraZeneca PLC’s vaccine for all eligible people 30 years old or over.

    • Days before the outbreak, the man showed COVID-19 symptoms but refused his colleagues’ suggestions to go home and self-isolate, police said in a statement.

    A Spanish man with COVID-19 symptoms who coughed on work colleagues and told them “I’m going to give you all the coronavirus” has been charged with intentionally causing injury after allegedly infecting 22 people.

    • “This is the demonstration that the virus has a sort of intelligence, even if it is a single-cell organism. We can put up all the barriers in the world and imagine that they work, but in the end, it adapts and penetrates them,” lamented Bollate Mayor Francesco Vassallo.

    The virus swept through a nursery school and an adjacent elementary school in the Milan suburb of Bollate with amazing speed. In a matter of just days, 45 children and 14 staff members had tested positive.

    • Ghana's Ministry of Health engaged the services of the Private Office of Sheikh Al Maktoum for the supply of the Sputnik V vaccines. Ghana had already taken delivery of 20,000 out of an expected 300,000 doses.

    The Dubai businessman at the centre of the botched Sputnik V procurement deal, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum has refunded $2.4million to the Ghanaian government.

    • On Friday, the head of the World Health Organization slammed the “shocking imbalance” in global COVID-19 vaccination. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus said that while one in four people in rich countries had received a vaccine, only one in 500 people in poorer countries had gotten a dose.

    As many as 60 countries, including some of the world’s poorest, might be stalled at the first shots of their coronavirus vaccinations because nearly all deliveries through the global program intended to help them are blocked until as late as June.

    • Meanwhile, the drug also seemed to benefit patients who required oxygen assistance without mechanical ventilation, reducing deaths in this group by about 20%.

    As the world awaits a COVID-19 vaccine, researchers studying possible treatments have found a commonly used steroid called dexamethasone that might help save one-third of patients who end up on ventilators.

    • The outbreak in Provincetown — a seaside tourist spot on Cape Cod in the county with Massachusetts’ highest vaccination rate — has so far included more than 900 cases. About three-quarters of them were people who were fully vaccinated.

    In another dispiriting setback for the nation’s efforts to stamp out the coronavirus, scientists who studied a big COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts concluded that vaccinated people who got so-called breakthrough infections carried about the same amount of the coronavirus as those who did not get the shots.

    • The groups insist that conditions are not rife for the safe reopening of schools given that the new coronavirus infection spread remain “very exponential” and “still very much horizontal” in the country.

    Pre-tertiary Education Unions have warned against any plans in the immediate by the Ghana Education Service, to reopen schools.

    • "The lambda is the dominant variant in Peru and Peru has had a very difficult time with COVID-19. It shares mutations in common with the alpha variants, the beta, the gamma, which is the dominant variant in Brazil," Dr. Wesley Long, medical director of Diagnostic Microbiology at Houston Methodist, told ABC News.

    A major Texas hospital system has reported its first case of the lambda COVID-19 variant, as the state reels from the rampant delta variant.

    • In Ghana, this fatigue is obvious too; for example people find the need to wear face masks a strain. There have been cases also where it is claimed Veronica buckets have been left empty, ...

    “But then we get exhausted and we wonder if we can accomplish any of the things we hope for, without destroying ourselves in the process. We ask ourselves if it’s time to quit.”

    • However, it is now becoming apparent that the people between the age range of 17-30 years are the most likely to spread the virus this time around. Data from the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics indicates that the latest spike of infections in that country has originated within this age group and coincided with the reopening of tertiary educational institutions

    “To be careless in making decisions is to naively believe that a single decision impacts nothing more than that single decision, for a single decision can spawn a thousand others that were entirely unnecessary or it can bring peace to a thousand places we never knew existed.”

    • From these two emotional observations, it is apparent that the Covid-19 pandemic is not a respecter of persons and that we are all potential victims. No one knows where he can contract this dreadful disease.

    Written By Charles Neequaye - Two harrowing experiences shared by two patients of the Covid-19 disease showed how painful it is to be a victim of the disease. There is therefore the need to pray for divine intervention to help Ghana overcome this deadly monster that has plagued this country within the shortest time. I heard the first victim of the disease was interviewed on an Accra-based radio station last week in which he narrated his harrowing condition when he was attacked by the virus.

    • There have been calls for investment in the local production of vaccines not only for COVID-19 but others as well for routine immunization. Vaccine production is capital intensive and has always been the preserve of the northern countries, the Western world and Europe due to their financial clout and support from moguls.

    Written By Theresa Owusu Ako - Ghana is hosting this year’s launch of Africa Vaccination Week. An event celebrated during the last week of April 24th -30th with other WHO Regions and the World Immunization week. The week aims at promoting the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages. The continuous search for a long lasting COVID-19 vaccine brings to the fore the importance of vaccines to human existence from birth to adulthood. Many dangerous diseases can be prevented through the use of vaccines. Some of these are Polio, Measles, Yellow Fever, Malaria, TB and a host of others including COVID-19. Ghana has been chosen to host this year’s event in recognition of its high immunisation status with consistent high coverage rates, commitment of leadership, successes in sustaining routine immunization during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and being the first country within Africa to access and deploy COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.

    • Though very versatile, some have had concerns about their reliability and application in the fight against this novel coronavirus. These concerns primarily relate to the sensitivity of these tests.

    “To each, there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.” -Winston Churchill

    • Dr Kuma-Aboagye said there had been increase in workplace infections recently and urged managers of both public and private organizations to adopt shift system and virtual platforms to curb the spread of the virus.

    The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says the new COVID-19 variants from the United Kingdom (UK) are spreading faster and widely among the Ghanaian population, with higher disease burden.

    • It has, therefore, become prudent and urgent to do a risk-benefit analysis on reopening of all schools in the country. The time is now ripe to take a bold and concrete decision based on science and facts devoid of fear, anxiety and pressures.

    Written By Dr Nana Kwaku Duah - COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on global economy. Educational systems worldwide have been affected, leading to near closure of schools and universities.

    • One of the biggest challenges of humankind is decision making. Often, most of us have opinions but never a firm view of what action to take. Incidentally, it is common for us to want to hoist these opinions on others as though they were grounded in fact, backed by evidence and a conclusion we have come to.

    “It felt like waiting for something to happen. Which has to be the worth part of being young. So many of your decisions aren’t yours; they’re made by other people. Sometimes they’re made badly by other people. Sometimes they’re made by other people who have no idea what the consequences of those decisions might be.”

    • As states impose new restrictions in the face of rising caseloads, Trump asked all Americans to remain “vigilant.” But he ruled out a nationwide “lockdown” and appeared to acknowledge that the decision won’t be his much longer.

    Gliding over significant challenges still to come, President Donald Trump offered a rosy update on the race for a vaccine for the resurgent coronavirus as he delivered his first public remarks since his defeat by President-elect Joe Biden. He still did not concede the election.

    • Occasional cases of people testing positive after receiving one or both doses are not unexpected, medical experts say. Clinical trial data published by Pfizer show that the vaccine is about 52 percent effective at preventing illness after the first shot, ...

    Two members of Congress from Massachusetts have tested positive for the coronavirus, one after receiving both doses of the vaccine, a reminder that people can still be vulnerable to infection after being vaccinated, particularly in the two weeks after receiving the second dose.

    • The vaccines are not a panacea, however, as they will take months to roll out to a nation where the virus is running rampant and public health measures such as social distancing and mask wearing are being rejected by large parts of the population.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will “rapidly” work towards granting emergency approval of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said on Thursday.

    • The Department for Transport said Friday the number of countries on its “red list” will reach 39 when the latest restrictions take effect in England beginning April 9. The other nations of the U.K. — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — have similar lists.

    The British government is gearing up to ban international arrivals from four more countries — Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines — amid concerns over new virus variants but opted against including European nations that are facing a resurgence of the virus.

    • “We share all of the ambition and the desire to get out of this lockdown, we want to do it responsibly and safely and therefore it’s got to be based on the evidence,” he told Times Radio.

    Britain’s vaccination programme has so far reached more than 14.5 million people and is seen as one of few successes in the government’s handling of a pandemic in which the country has suffered a higher death toll and worse economic damage than its peers. The UK’s total population is about 67 million.

    • It is time to seal every loophole in admitting international passengers at the KIA. The worrying infection rates, the pressure on our health system and dedicated medical staff and the painful loss of lives are regrettable.

    Shocking but it is true. Strange United Kingdom (UK) variants of COVID-19 said to be more ferocious than the one we knew in 2020, have escaped from the cold and made their way to the warm weather in Ghana.

    • People are exposed to a coronavirus through mucus membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth via respiratory droplets.

    Hailing it as a tested killer of the novel coronavirus, New York City transit officials announced on Tuesday that they are launching a pilot program using ultraviolet light to disinfect its subway cars and buses.

    • The Goodwill Ambassadors to the UN agency IFAD call for international action to prevent economic shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic from triggering a global hunger and food crisis

    Actor, filmmaker and humanitarian Idris Elba and actress, model and activist Sabrina Dhowre Elba today launched a new global coronavirus relief fund on behalf of the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to prevent economic shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic from triggering a global hunger and food crisis.

    • Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are approved for treating lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and for preventing and treating malaria, but no large rigorous tests have found them safe or effective for preventing or treating COVID-19.

    The World Health Organization said Monday that it will temporarily drop hydroxychloroquine — the anti-malarial drug U.S. President Trump says he is taking — from its global study into experimental COVID-19 treatments, saying that its experts need to review all available evidence to date.

    • This divide which has become the talk of the day is spreading like wildfire. This fire has caught up with the church with seasoned Pastors standing at each side of the divide.

    Written By Mark Ofori Nketia - 5G is the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies for cellular data networks. In a span of about four decades, we have seen various generations such as 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. Before the first generation, there was the 0G (Zero generation).

    • The study’s authors are now applying for an investigational new drug approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. They hope to start human clinical trials within the next few months.

    Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine believe that they’ve found a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus.

    • It is not surprising that some passengers who test positive are challenging the test outcomes. This is because there is a period between when one is infected with the virus and when even the most sensitive COVID-19 test can detect the presence of an infection.

    Walt Whitman in Walt Whitman’s Camden Conversations argues “I like the scientific spirit, the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them. This is ultimately fine, it always keeps the way beyond open, always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake, after a wrong guess.”

    • “I have instructed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to direct officers, men and women of the Police Service to ensure the rigorous enforcement of the law on mask-wearing at all public places and in public transport.

    The police and other security services will collaborate to strictly enforce the COVID-19 safety protocols, following an upsurge in the number of active cases, coupled with the discovery of new variants of the pandemic in the country.

    • After daylong discussions, the FDA panelists voted unanimously that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks for adults. If the FDA agrees, shipments of a few million doses could begin as early as Monday.

    U.S. health advisers endorsed a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson on Friday, putting the nation on the cusp of adding an easier-to-use option to fight the pandemic.

    • The move sets off what will be the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history -- but it also has global ramifications because it’s a role model to many other countries facing the same decision.

    The U.S. gave the final go-ahead Friday to the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, marking what could be the beginning of the end of an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.

    • That pace of vaccinations is now roughly on track to be met, which would inoculate about 67 million people, some with their initial shot and some with both of their required shots. Some critics say the pace should be quicker.

    The U.S. government’s effort to vaccinate millions of Americans against the coronavirus pandemic is lagging, new health officials in President Joe Biden’s administration conceded Sunday. But they held out hope that the campaign to curb the virus will markedly improve within three months.

    • Israel has been offering a coronavirus booster to people over 60 who were already vaccinated more than five months ago.

    Warning of tough days ahead with surging COVID-19 infections, the director of the National Institutes of Health said Sunday the U.S. could decide in the next couple weeks whether to offer coronavirus booster shots to Americans this fall.

  • Health care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line when the first coronavirus vaccine shots become available, an influential government advisory panel said Tuesday.

    • As for effectiveness, six months into Pfizer’s original study, the vaccine remained 97% protective against severe COVID-19. Protection against milder infection waned slightly, from a peak of 96% two months after the second dose to 84% by six months.

    The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday, potentially boosting public confidence in the shots and instantly opening the way for more universities, companies and local governments to make vaccinations mandatory.

    • The Biden administration says the U.S. is setting up a $1.7 billion national network to identify and track worrisome coronavirus mutations whose spread could trigger another pandemic wave

    The U.S. is setting up a $1.7 billion national network to identify and track worrisome coronavirus mutations whose spread could trigger another pandemic wave, the Biden administration announced Friday.

    • CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky added that the pause should increase confidence in vaccine safety, showing “that we are taking every one of those needles in a haystack that we find seriously.”

    U.S. health officials lifted an 11-day pause on COVID-19 vaccinations using Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot on Friday, after scientific advisers decided its benefits outweigh a rare risk of blood clot.

    • Governments say getting vaccinated and having the proper documentation to prove it will smooth the way to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and such efforts have gotten a head start in Israel

    Violet light bathed the club stage as 300 people, masked and socially distanced, erupted in gentle applause. For the first time since the pandemic began, Israeli musician Aviv Geffen stepped to his electric piano and began to play for an audience seated right in front of him.

    • “I find it unfair and unjust, and it is something that saddens me,” the 33-year-old infectious diseases doctor says. “I don’t even have that choice. The first vaccine that comes along that has authorization, I will take it.”

    At the small hospital where Dr. Oumaima Djarma works in Chad’s capital, there are no debates over which coronavirus vaccine is the best.

    • Modi is using India’s strength as the world’s biggest maker of vaccines for various diseases to improve regional ties and push back against China’s political and economic dominance.

    India has approved the shipment of COVID-19 vaccine to Cambodia and plans to supply Mongolia and Pacific Island states, officials said on Sunday, as supplies arrived in Afghanistan - all part of the country’s widening vaccine diplomacy.

    • Much as lower and lower-middle-income countries are caught in the middle of these squabbles, their governments need to study the factors that have contributed to the current predicament. It will be unfortunate ...

    “We are sometimes astounded by the behaviour of emotional outlaws, as they act in line with their own standards, but proceed like bulls-in-a-china-shop, create one heck of a mess in their living environment and bring about shocking disturbing dissensions, ever since their inner construction clashes with our emotional architecture.”

    • Inequity is everywhere: Inoculations go begging in the United States while Haiti, a short plane ride away, received its first delivery July 15 after months of promises — 500,000 doses for a population over 11 million. Canada has procured more than 10 doses for every resident; Sierra Leone’s vaccination rate just cracked 1% on June 20.

    No one disputes that the world is unfair. But no one expected a vaccine gap between the global rich and poor that was this bad, this far into the pandemic.

    • The argument over whether passports are a sensible response to the pandemic or governmental overreach echoes the bitter disputes over the past year about masks, shutdown orders and even the vaccines themselves.

    Vaccine passports being developed to verify COVID-19 immunization status and allow inoculated people to more freely travel, shop and dine have become the latest flash point in America’s perpetual political wars, with Republicans portraying them as a heavy-handed intrusion into personal freedom and private health choices.

    • Turning Adversity Into Opportunity

    “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger, but recognize the opportunity.” John F. Kennedy

    • GAVI is a public-private partnership backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the WHO, the World Bank, UNICEF and others, which arranges bulk buys to reduce vaccine costs for poor countries.

    The GAVI vaccines alliance said on Thursday it had raised $8.8 billion from international donor governments, companies and philanthropic foundations to fund its immunisation programmes through to 2025.

  • “Remember: It’s not your fault that things are the way they are, but it is your responsibility to do something about them.” Elena Aguilar

    • People in Ho Chi Minh city are only allowed to leave home for necessary activities and public gatherings of more than 10 people are banned for the next two weeks, the government announced. Prior to the order, ...

    Vietnam plans to test all 9 million people in its largest city for the coronavirus and imposed more restrictions Monday to deal with a growing COVID-19 outbreak.

    • To let this disease run riot, is to forsake the very heart of what keeps us whole. We cannot forget the soldiers as the war rages. We cannot starve the army in the face of an enemy that does not take prisoners.

    Some things never change: the one who looks after my car is still in Korle Bu.  So this week, whilst waiting for him to fix the trauma that the Spintex roads have inflicted, I took a walk.  I retraced steps from my primary school alma mater, along the still pavement-less roads onto the hospital campus. 

    • The two cases were discovered in adults in different regions of the state and do not appear to be connected. Neither of the people infected has traveled recently, ...

    A new variant of the coronavirus emerged Thursday in the United States, posing yet another public health challenge in a country already losing more than 3,000 people to COVID-19 every day.

    • Dr Asiedu-Bekoe said commercial vehicles, food vendors, and other high-risk persons were the targets for the mass testing exercise.

    A voluntary mass testing programme for the coronavirus disease is to be rolled out in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region as part of efforts to help curtail the spread of the disease in the area.

    • The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is one of 150 in development globally, but is considered the most advanced. Late-stage trials have begun in Brazil and South Africa and are due to start in the United States, where the infection prevalence is highest.

    Early data from trials of three potential COVID-19 vaccines released on Monday, including a closely-watched candidate from Oxford University, increased confidence that a vaccine can train the immune system to recognize and fight the novel coronavirus without serious side effects.

    • In a tweet Thursday, Rawlings said “it does not appear that we can afford the comfort of thinking the Covid-19 virus has gone weak or lessened its grip.

    Former President Jerry John Rawlings is chronicling the shocking death of Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John), the hospitalization of Messrs Mac Manu and Carlos Ahenkorah, among others, as a sharp reminder of the deadly risk the society faces in underestimating the new coronavirus disease.

    • Some health professionals in the region expressed fear that the fight against the disease might run into serious trouble if efforts were not made to address the challenges.

    The Western Regional Testing Centre for COVID-19 has run out of reagents and other testing logistics, leaving some 3,743 samples collected for COVID-19 testing unattended to.

    • Here’s what experts are saying about those findings and how they might affect the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to develop vaccines and treatments.

    A series of studies of the genomes of thousands of samples of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 show that it is mutating and evolving as it adapts to its human hosts.

    • This current development puts more responsibilities on us as individuals to make sound common sense decisions to not only protect ourselves, ...

    Written by Joshua Bamfo - As we all know by now, the world is fighting two evils: 1) combat and contain the spread of Covid-19 to save lives; and 2) implement appropriate economic intervention measures timely to manage the adverse impact of the containment measures on businesses in order to save livelihoods.

  • From a compulsory lockdown to a self-induced partial lockdown, where schools remain closed and parents are working from home, many have found new ways to keep themselves occupied.

    • "The reality is this is not close to being over," Tedros told reporters. "Globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up."

    Six months after the World Health Organization (WHO) first identified a cluster of atypical pneumonia cases at a hospital in Wuhan, China, the number of people newly infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is rising rapidly.

    • “The mark of success is making sure that any cases are identified, isolated, traced and cared for as quickly as possible and onward transmission is interrupted,” he said.

    The Tokyo Olympics should not be judged by the tally of COVID-19 cases that arise because eliminating risk is impossible, the head of the World Health Organization told sports officials Wednesday as events began in Japan.

    • Trial results announced on Tuesday showed dexamethasone, used since the 1960s to reduce inflammation in diseases such as arthritis, cut death rates by around a third among the most severely ill COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was moving to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with COVID-19 to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed a cheap, common steroid can help save critically ill patients.

    • That last possibility was previously dismissed by the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but researchers on this mission have taken it up again, further raising questions about the politicization of the study since China has long pushed the theory.

    A joint World Health Organization-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press.

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