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General News of Saturday, 21 March 2020

Source: GNA

Bawumia encourages Muslims to use online platforms for prayers

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has encouraged Muslims to use social media platforms for Jummah prayers in compliance with government’s directive suspending all social gatherings in a move to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“I will like to encourage Imams and mosques across the country to consider this online innovation,” he said.

Addressing some eminent Muslim clerics at the Jubilee House in Accra Friday to pray against COVID-19, he said the disease was ravaging global economies and claiming many lives.

This, he noted, has therefore compelled the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare the deadly disease a pandemic.

The government has instituted a wide range of measures to curb the coronavirus spread.

These measures include suspension of all social gatherings like congregational religious service in churches and mosques, funerals and closure of schools.

It has also issued travel restrictions for people coming from countries that had recorded 200 or more confirmed cases of Covid-19, designated isolation and treatment centres at some health facilities, screening of travellers with thermal scanners at the country’s points of entry among others.

Dr Bawumia commended the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu and leadership of the various Muslim sects for urging Ghanaian Muslims to strictly adhere to government’s directive and suspending congregational prayers.

“The President and government sincerely appreciate the cooperation of the Muslim Leadership to our collective efforts to protect our country and citizens from the deadly threat of COVID-19,” he said.

“The decision to suspend services in churches and mosques was drastic, but a necessary measure to safeguard our health so that we can get back stronger and worship our Lord,” he added.

Dr Bawumia noted that the advice to restrict movements under difficult situations was grounded in Islamic principles, saying, even before the advent of science, Prophet Mohammed advised that in the event of an outbreak of a plague, people should not leave that particular place.

He said Ghana was not alone in issuing preventive measures as many Muslim nations including; Turkey, Egypt, Kuwait, Iran, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia had also suspended congregational prayers in their quest to control the virus from spreading.

He entreated Muslims to continue observing preventive measures such as covering one’s mouth when coughing and sneezing, avoiding shaking of hands, washing hands with soap under running water and frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

He assured them that Government would continue to take bold steps to prevent the spread of the virus and expressed the conviction that Allah would save the nation from the deadly disease.

Ghana has, so far, recorded 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 0945 hours of March 20, and globally, there have been more than 200,000 confirmed cases, with over 8,000 deaths recorded.

In attendance at the meeting were; Sheikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, the National Chief Imam, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anarfi Asamoa, Presidential Advisor on COVID-19, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader in Parliament and some members of Parliament.

The meeting formed part of Government’s interaction with religious leaders in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic to offer intercessory prayers for the nation.

They prayed for those affected by the virus, frontline health workers, the President and the Vice President, Government and the world.

On Thursday, March 19, President Akufo-Addo met some eminent Christian Leaders at the Jubilee House during a prayer breakfast meeting to also pray against the virus.

Ghana has earmarked $100 million for its preparedness and response plan, which would be used for the construction of critical health facilities, purchasing of materials and supplies and for public education.

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