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Covid-19: Europe Faces 700,000 More Deaths By March 2022 : WHO

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The World Health Organization has stated that a further 700,000 people could die of Covid-19 by March 2022 in Europe and parts of Asia, saying it expected “high or extreme stress” in intensive care units in 49 countries of its Europe region.

As at press time there are already 1.5 million deaths in the 53 countries of what the WHO terms as its Europe region.

As well as European nations, the WHO still considers Israel and ex-Soviet states like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as part of Europe.

Europe is facing a surge in cases, prompting Austria to return to lockdown and others to consider fresh measures.

A number of countries – including France, Germany and Greece – could also soon make booster jabs a requirement for their citizens to be considered fully vaccinated.

The WHO also warned Covid was the top cause of death in its Europe region.

“Cumulative reported deaths are projected to reach over 2.2 million by spring next year, based on current trends,” the WHO said on Tuesday, November 23.

Confirmed Covid-related deaths recently doubled to almost 4,200 a day, it added.

A high number of unvaccinated people and the prevalence of the Delta variant in some countries were key factors behind high transmission rates in the Europe region, the WHO said.

The WHO Europe director, Dr Hans Kluge, said;

“All of us have the opportunity and responsibility to help avert unnecessary tragedy and loss of life, and limit further disruption to society and businesses over this winter season,” he said.

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E-Levy Will Be Double Taxation : Kwabena Duffuor

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The former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, has added his voice to the many calls for the rejection of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) saying it will compound the several taxes on the Ghanaians.

Dr. Duffuor reiterated that implementing the E-levy would affect the ordinary Ghanaian directly since it is the mode of payment widely used.

The former Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) disclosed that the E-levy move would lead to double taxation as the taxpayer is already taxed on his income.

“This makes the proposed E-levy problematic because it could be fraught with serious implementation challenges. This tax could undermine the Ghanaian Digital Economy.

“It should be noted that taxes/levies are imposed on income, gifts, consumption and held properties or assets. Electronic transfers and payments are none of these,” he stated.

Dr. Duffuor made these statements while delivering a lecture organized by Institute for Fiscal Studies on the theme: The Ghanaian Dream; Transforming the Economy through Job Creation and Opportunities for all’ held at the Tang Palace Hotel in Accra on Monday, 29th November 2022.

The event brought together various personalities in business, politics, agriculture sector, education, traditional rulers among others.

Touching on job creation, Dr. Duffuor pointed out that for a sector to thrive, the government must start matching jobs with skills in a more intentional way.

“We cannot demand of our youth to rise if we do not offer them a platform to step on, a first step into employment and self-sufficiency. This is what the government can and should do,” he added.

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We’ll Fix Dumsor In Ashanti Region By Dec. 20 : GRIDCo Assures

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The power outages in the Ashanti region will continue until December 20, 2021, as a result of ongoing works on three damaged towers of GRIDCo at Bogoso, GRIDCo has said.

Speaking at a joint press conference organized by GRIDCo and ECG in Kumasi, the Director of Northern Network Services at GRIDCo, Ing. Vincent Boachie, said they are currently working on their 330kV Aboadze to Kumasi transmission lines at Bogoso, which were damaged by a communication tower.

Ashanti region since November 9th 2021 has been sleeping in darkness during the peak hours that’s 6 pm to 11 pm each night.

This has been attributed to a broken power plant that carries the load from Aboadze to Kumasi. The development has also affected Water treatment and production from the Barekese site because there’s a shortfall of energy to meet the water production demand for domestic and industrial use.

Addressing the media in Kumasi, Engineer Vincent Boachie said one of the three damaged towers has been fixed, leaving two, which are currently being worked on.

He said currently, most of the electricity supply to Kumasi has been coming from the Akosombo Generation Station and generation enclave in Tema.

He said as a result, during the peak period, the available transmission network cannot carry enough power to the country’s middle and northern parts, including Kumasi.

He said that has caused the current power outages in the region because they are unable to supply the required power to consumers during peak hours.

He indicated that ECG currently cannot come out with a load shedding timetable because they cannot predict the voltage of energy they will have for distribution at the peak period which is between 6 pm – 11 pm.

Engineer Boachie also said plans are underway to relocate the Ameri power plant from Aboadze to Kumasi to provide reliable power to the region.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, Ing. Lawrence Apaalse, also said plans are underway to ensure that stable power is supplied to the region.

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Mo Salah Voted Premier League Player Of The Year

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Liverpool’s Mo Salah has been voted the men’s Player of the Year in a poll of 400,000 supporters, after netting 32 goals and counting, in all club competitions this calendar year.

The Egyptian international was named the best performer in 2021 at the Football Supporters’ Association Awards on Monday.

Salah held off competition from Chelsea’s Mason Mount, Man City pair Phil Foden, and Rúben Dias, West Ham United’s Michail Antonio, and Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans to claim the gong.

Last season, Salah, 29, netted 31 times in league and cup matches. He is the fourth Liverpool player to scoop the award in 11 years and the first to win the award on two occasions.

It adds to an extraordinary list of personal achievements, with 50 awards already stuffed into his trophy cabinet and that’s before one adds the player and goal of the month accolades and the Premier League, Champions League, Super Cup, and Club World Cup-winning medals he has claimed with Liverpool.

‘There’s no doubt Mohamed is having another incredible year, the number and quality of his goals have once again lit up English football and contributed to Liverpool’s title push,’ said Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters Association.

‘As well as his on-field ability, Mohamed’s character has won support from fans across the game and he was a clear favourite among the voting public.’

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