COVID-19: Wakye, kenke, kooko sellers to feed Ghanaians for free – Gender Minister

School Feeding irregularities: Gender Minister takes steps to validate caterers, et al.

Government has revised method used in the distribution of free meals to over 400,000 Ghanaians in locked-down areas amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana.

Per the new arrangement, local food sellers in designated localities are going to be resourced to enable them cook food and give them out freely to residents in the various communities.

The President, in an address, admitted the hardship the situation has brought on the majority of Ghanaians so there was however the need for the provision of “food packages and hot meals” to enable poor households to minimize their vulnerability.

“We are in difficult times, and that is why I directed the Minister for Finance to send to Parliament the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), whose objective is to protect households and livelihoods, support micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, minimize job losses, and source additional funding for promotion of industries to shore up and expand industrial output for domestic consumption and exports”, the President announced.

The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Mamle Morrison, in an interview with 3FM’s Sunrise hosted by Steve Anti on Tuesday explained that the method of distributing meals freely was changed to keep the social distancing practice.

“We have expanded the process and now we have given kenke sellers, kooko sellers, wakye sellers, rice sellers resource to cook for the people freely”.

The Minister added “Kooko sellers are to be given needed resources to cook and give to the people so that people will not clamp together for meals but would have them as and when they want anytime. We need to ensure social distancing”.

“We are changing the process again because some places are densely populated so we have identified the food sellers and you go there and you can have your kenkey free,” she explained.

Monitoring process

Madam Mamle Morrison assured that personnel from the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and officer of the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection have been placed at these designated places to monitor the preparation of the food and free delivery to the people.

“We are monitoring. Officials from NADMO and our officers are monitoring. We are also doing road marketing and we are using the assembly members because every electoral area, they know where food is sold”.

She admitted that “you know nothing is done right the first day so we have ordered fante kenke, Ga kenkey, pepper, sardine and they are helping the people”.

PWDs

Madam Mamle Morrison said the exercise does not cover only head porters (kayayei) but also Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the country.

“For PDWs, we have added them…we are given them sanitizers apart from the free meals. Our concentration is not only on Kayayei”, she explained.

School Feeding irregularities: Gender Minister takes steps to validate caterers, et al.

Source: TV3GH

COVID-19 lockdown: If you need food call these numbers announced by government

As part of measures to ensure that members of the public within the restriction of movement areas – Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa – live comfortably, the government has announced hotlines for needy communities and households to reach them for food items.

They are 0800800800 and 0800900900.

The distribution of food followed the restriction of movement within some areas and the suspension of social gatherings, which had made it impossible for some people to continue to earn a living through their petty businesses and trading activities.

Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection who announced the hotlines while the Sector and the Ministry of Finance were offloading food items to faith-based organisations to share to needy individuals and communities in the affected areas.

Government, she said, since the restriction of movement has distributed between 400,000 and 450,000 packs of food every day to needy people including persons with disability in affected areas.

Government also secured a 500 seater-capacity hostel for kayaye, she said, and gave assurance that they would be transported into the facility on Monday April 6, 2020 to ensure they lived comfortably without fear.

Mrs Morrison explained that government collaborated with faith-based organisations through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, as they had demonstrated a commitment towards promoting the wellbeing of vulnerable people, to enable them to ensure that they lived fulfilled lives.

She advised the public to observe the COVID-19 preventive measures, drink more water with lime, and build their immune systems with healthy diets to resist the virus infection.

He appealed to individuals who benefit from move, to discipline themselves not to strive to take another one which could have been given to another person in dire need.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, said if government prolongs the restriction of movement and suspension of social gathering, government would be left with no option than to continue to support the needy and vulnerable with basic necessities.

He believed this pandemic period, called for sacrifice from all bodies including the government to ensure that there was availability of social justice and fairness for everyone.

“Government recognises the economic impact that this partial lockdown has had on families in low income communities who are mostly dependent on their daily income for sustenance; and this is well described by the Akan expression ‘Ankor a, endidi’.

“Fortunately, the Ghana Buffer Stock Company has a significant amount of food stock that can alleviate some of the difficulties within our low-income communities in Accra and Kumasi,” the Minister said.

Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist and Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana, expressed gratitude to government and religious bodies for the support rendered to control the effects of the pandemic in the country.

What the nation was facing with the world, he said, was an opportunity to deepen the relationship that existed between faith based organisations and governments to address the challenges of people from the grassroots.

He gave an assurance that the church would identify the most needy households and individuals and distribute the food items to them.

He also said leadership of the churches in the country would continue to pray for leaders of the nation, front liners, borders and entire nation to ensure that the nation emerged victorious in the fight against the pandemic.



Source: GNA

Coronavirus 5G conspiracy theory spreads in UK, officials call it ‘dangerous nonsense and rubbish’

By now, you must have seen a viral video from the UK suggesting that telecom companies are installing masts for 5G technology while Britain goes under lockdown due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The Nationa Health Service (NHS) England’s national medical director, Stephen Powis, has said that the coronavirus theory was ‘fake news’ and added he was ‘disgusted’ by the ‘utter rubbish claims’ during a press briefing where Cabinet Officer Minister Michael Gove said”That is just nonsense, dangerous nonsense as well.”

Stephen Powis, agreed and also reiterated the ‘theory’ was totally untrue, saying that he was ‘disgusted’.

“The 5G story is complete and utter rubbish, it’s nonsense, it’s the worst kind of fake news,” Mr Powis said.

“The reality is that the mobile phone networks are absolutely critical to all of us, particularly at a time when we are asking people to stay at home.

“Those are also the phone networks that are used by our emergency services and our health workers and I’m absolutely outraged, absolutely disgusted that people would be taking action against the very infrastructure that we need to respond to this health emergency.

“It is absolute and utter rubbish and I can’t condemn it in stronger terms than that.”

Celebrities who are “fanning the flames” of conspiracy theories linking 5G technology with coronavirus should be ashamed, a scientist has said.

Videos purportedly showing masts on fire were posted on social media after theories about the link between the mobile technology and Covid-19 circulated online.

Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said: “Conspiracy theorists are a public health danger who once read a Facebook page.

“Here, we also see similar groups of people keen to show their ignorance on a topic where they have no helpful expertise, nor any inclination to post useful public health messages.

“The celebrities fanning the flames of these conspiracy theorists should be ashamed.”

Mobile UK, the trade body which represents network providers, said key workers had been abused and infrastructure threatened as a result of the claims.

On Thursday evening, West Midlands Fire Service said eight firefighters attended an incident involving a 70ft tower on a telecommunications site in the Sparkhill area of Birmingham, although the cause of the fire was not determined.

Fire crews were called to a blaze at a phone mast in Aintree, Merseyside, on Friday night but a spokeswoman for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said there were “no signs of foul play” so an investigation into its cause was not launched.

The mast had been featured in a video shared on social media the previous weekend by someone who claimed to be measuring radiation from it.

Professor Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol, said: “The internet connections these networks give us are one of the most important tools we are using to co-ordinate our response to the epidemic and efforts to do research to overcome it.”

Prof Brendan Wren, professor of microbial pathogenesis, at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said a connection between the phone masts and the virus would be “both a physical and biological impossibility”.

Source: The Mirror