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Ghana: Press zooms in on launch of COVID-19 vaccination programme, others

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The launch of the COVID-19 vaccination programme by the Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the United Nations and the plan to use Zipline’s network to deliver COVID-19 vaccines across Ghana are some of the leading stores in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that the Ghana Health Service, in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) in Ghana, launched the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Accra yesterday.

This opens the gates for qualified members of the public to step forward and take the vaccine, a preventive measure to complement the safety protocols against the spread of COVID-19 and also reduce the rate of deaths.

A total of 3,321 people took the COVID-19 vaccination when the exercise started yesterday.

Health workers topped the number of those vaccinated with 1,928, followed by members of the security services with 443, traders at 323, with members of the Executive arm of government following in fourth place with 198.

Other groups include the Judiciary, legislators, education personnel, media, farmers and persons classified as unemployed.

A greater number of the people who were vaccinated were between the ages of 18 and 59, with 2,115 of the vaccinated accounting for 68.5 percent, while the age group of 60 years and above were 972 or 31.5 percent.

The newspaper says that the Government of Ghana will use Zipline’s network to deliver its COVID-19 vaccines to ensure rapid, equitable access across the country. Nearly half of Ghana’s population lives outside of cities, and those 12 million people are difficult to reach with time-limited, cold chain-dependent vaccines. Zipline’s network provides Ghana with a resilient, efficient and equitable distribution strategy.

“We are proud to be part of this significant milestone in Ghana where our drone logistics network is able to provide on-demand, last-mile delivery of COVID-19 vaccine at scale across the country,” said Zipline CEO and co-founder Keller Rinaudo.

“Not only does this make Ghana the world’s first country to deploy drones on a national scale for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, but is also a giant effort in ensuring equitable access and enabling Ghana to fully utilize its healthcare infrastructure to deliver vaccines.”

The Times reports that Ghana and UK are expected to sign a new trade agreement that will further deepen ties between the two countries whilst giving exporters of the two countries more hope, Trade and Industry Minister-designate, Alan Kyerematen has disclosed.

The agreement is expected to come into full force from Friday, March 5.

Speaking during his vetting in Parliament, Mr Kyerematen, said the agreement would be in the form of the regional partnership pact signed between the European Union and ECOWAS.

“Technical consultations took place for a year until December 2020 when the UK was exiting from EU. We wanted to avoid trade disruptions. So we were proposing that we used an original text of an economic regional partnership agreement that has been signed between the EU and ECOWAS. We felt that agreement will be consistent with the requirement of the Customs,” he said.

“So I escalated the negotiation to the level of my counterpart in UK in December. She gracefully agreed to the principle of continuity; accept our position to use the test of the regional partnership agreement signed between EU and ECOWAS as the basis of the new bilateral Ghana UK agreement because once it comes into force it will not be difficult to convince ECOWAS to adopt that,” he said.

Published on 10.02.2021

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