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“COVID-19 is real” – Archbishop Palmer-Buckle cautions public after being infected

Most Reverend Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle

The Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast, the Most Reverend Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, has released a message of encouragement after being hospitalised for contracting COVID-19.

From the Infectious Diseases Centre, located at the Ga East Hospital, the clergyman said in a recorded video,” I have survived it for five days, and therefore I encourage anybody who is afflicted not to be afraid because, yes, COVID is real, but healing is equally real if we will do the best”.

In the footage released on Saturday, February 6, the Catholic priest, seated in the health facility’s recovery garden, outlined three points for the public to observe in the wake of rising cases of COVID-19.

“My advice is what I call the three Ps: Prayer, Protocols and Prayer and you can add two more to it – protocols and prayer, so it becomes five Ps”, he advised.

He called for prayers for all healthcare personnel in the line of duty to tackle the infection that had claimed 449 lives with 6,095 active cases at the time the video was shot.

“They are really stretched out and stressed out. They need our prayerful support, love and concern and for themselves and anything God can help them to do,” he added.

The Catholic priest further requested for prayers to help infected persons to regain their health.

Last appearance at the funeral of the late President Jerry John Rawlings

The video comes 12 days after Archbishop Palmer-Buckle delivered the official sermon at the Catholic Requiem Mass for the late President Jerry John Rawlings.

The mass was held at the Holy Spirit Cathedral on January 24, 2021.

The event was organised under strict observance of COVID-19 protocols as all attendees were required to wear face masks and observe social distancing within the church premises.

Mutated strains driving new infections

At 70,046 confirmed cases and 63,502 discharge/recoveries, the new rising cases have been attributed to a more infectious strain imported from the United Kingdom.

Director of the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana, Dr Gordon Awandare, observed that “data shows clearly that B.1.1.7 (first reported in the UK) is now the predominant strain driving local transmission in Ghana”.

The UK variant is estimated to be 30%–80% more transmissible than SARS-CoV-2.

The mutation is also believed to reduce the effectiveness of the various vaccines being administered widely in the UK, Germany, US and other countries.

Ban on social activities

Following the surge in coronavirus cases over the last two weeks, President Nana Akufo-Addo has reintroduced the ban on social gatherings.

Funerals, weddings, concerts are banned until further notice. But private burials with no more than 25 people can occur, with strict adherence to hygiene and safety protocols.

Beaches, night clubs, cinemas, and pubs are to remain shut, and Ghana’s land and sea borders also remain closed.
The president has warned if the situation persists, authorities would have to reconsider tighter protocols including a lockdown.

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