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Ghana: Press highlights delivery of 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from India, others

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The delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield) to Ghana and the report that Ghana is among 92 countries that will receive a no-fault compensation claim of serious side effects for people who are vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine acquired from the COVAX facility are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that Ghana on Thursday morning took delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield).

The 600,000 doses is the first consignment of vaccines acquired through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) which Ghana, among 92 countries, has signed unto.

The vaccines which arrived at the Kotoka International Airport on an Emirates Airlines cargo, EK787, was received by a delegation led by the Minister of Health designate, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.

The COVID-19 vaccination, which will begin on March 2, will be conducted in phases among segmented populations.

The first segment of the population that will receive from the doses will be health workers, adults 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other personalities in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.

A similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality will also be covered.

The newspaper says that Ghana is among 92 countries that will receive a no-fault compensation claim of serious side effects for people who are vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine acquired from the COVAX facility.

This follows an agreement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that a no-fault-lump sum would be provided for serious COVAX vaccine side effects to reduce the need for resorting to the law courts, a potentially lengthy and costly process.

Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, Programme Manager for the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that Ghana was part of the COVAX facility and “certainly part of the compensation system by extension.”

The COVID-19 Vaccine, Global Access (COVAX) facility, is a global initiative aimed at ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines to all countries regardless of their wealth.

WHO said COVAX had been created to maximize the world’s chances of successfully developing COVID-19 vaccines and manufacture them in quantities needed to end the pandemic.

Dr. Amponsa-Achiano said the compensation was monetary, but unsure how much people who developed side effects as a result of the COVAX vaccine would receive.

He explained that “vaccines save lives, but because we are giving it to people who are not sick, some might genuinely be reactive to the ingredients within the vaccine and when it happens, such a person will have to be compensated.”

The Graphic also reports that the former President John Dramani Mahama has urged the Supreme Court to uphold his presidential election petition and nullify the Electoral Commission’s (EC) declaration that  President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, won the December 7,2020 presidential election.

In a closing address to the apex court, lawyers for the petitioner argued that the evidence on record including the EC’s own declaration on December 9 clearly showed that no candidate obtained more than 50 per cent of the valid votes cast to be declared President -elect as prescribed by Article 63 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.

The lawyers therefore urged the court to uphold the petitioner’s case and order the EC to organise a run-off between former President Mahama and President Akufo-Addo.

The closing address was signed by Mr Tony Lithur, one of the lawyers of the petitioner.

The legal team of the petitioner invited the court to take notice of the refusal of the EC to put forward the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, to testify.

According to the petitioner, after presenting his case, the burden was now on the EC to show that Mrs. Mensa indeed “inadvertently” made errors in her declaration, and whether the subsequent corrections were based on correct figures as required by law.

“1st respondent (EC), by not calling evidence, did not even begin to discharge that burden,” the closing address said.

The Times says that the coronavirus pandemic has introduced several risks to the banking sector threatening the growth of the industry, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison, has said.

He said cyber, credit, and operational risks were new threats to the banking sector, which banks must efficiently manage to avoid any unintended consequences on the industry.

Dr. Addison disclosed this during a webinar by the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB), in Accra last Thursday on the theme “Managing Banking Risks in Uncertain Times – COVID-19 Test Case.”

The programme was to create opportunity for stakeholders to deliberate on the risks emerging in the financial sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and explore policy options and measures to manage them.

The Governor explained that in spite of the resilience of the banking industry, the aforementioned risks posed a challenge to the banking industry.

On cyber risk, Dr. Addison explained that although, the pandemic boosted the move towards digital transactions and financial inclusion, it also brought in its wake a heightened sense of cyber-attacks within the financial sector.

Dr. Addison called for an effective cyber risk management policies and procedures by banks to protect them from cyber threat and attacks.

Published on 10.02.2021

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