Dr Sylvie Nantcha, chairman of The African Network of Germany (TANG), has called on members of the Black community in Germany not to lower their guard in respect of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). She issued the advice on Thursday while speaking at a virtual conference attended by the regional representatives of the organisation from all parts of Germany.
“The virus is still there! It hasn’t gone away,” Ms Nantcha said at the video conference.
She briefed the participants on the decisions jointly taken by the federal government and the state governments on 17 June to further relax the lockdown measures in the country.
Decisions reached at the virtual meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state premiers include the recommendation to the population to continue to practice intensive personal hygiene, such as regular hand washing, and the extension of the social distancing regulation, requiring people to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5m in public, the obligation to wear masks in shops and specified places, and the prohibition of big events until the end of October.
Nantcha said more than 1.9 million had been infected by coronavirus in Europe. Even though Germany had done better than other countries in Europe in containing the pandemic, it was important to remain vigilant as scientists had warned that preventive measures had to be maintained to prevent a second wave of infection.
Nantcha talked about the new coronavirus app (Corona-Warn-App), launched by the government on Tuesday, 16 June. She explained that the app could play a decisive role in monitoring and breaking infection chains.
Nantcha advised members of the Black community to download the app as it is an effective tool in the overall efforts to prevent the spread of the deadly virus and protect the population.
She said the Black community, numbering over 1 million people, was important to the current fight against the pandemic, adding that “it’s our duty to play an active part in it”.
Nantcha reviewed TANG’s ongoing awareness and sensitisation campaign about the COVID-19 disease in the Black community. The first phase of the campaign tagged Coronavirus TANG #Telefonaktion, which kicked off on 17 March, mobilises community associations to inform their members properly about the coronavirus pandemic.
She reported that her organisation had meanwhile reached more than 6 million people by phone, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, spreading information about the disease and government efforts to contain it. She called on member associations to continue to inform their publics about new government regulations, advice and recommendations about the virus.
Launched on 7 May, the second phase of the sensitisation campaign tagged Aktion #Coronavirus #TANG klärt auf (Action#Coronavirus#TANG clarifies), in addition to creating greater awareness of the disease in the African community also provides current information on the ongoing relaxation of lockdown measures and other official policies.
TANG, a network of more than 700 African associations and individual members in Germany, has distributed more than 6,000 self-made fabric masks to members and refugee homes, Nantcha announced at the meeting, which the organisation has been holding weekly since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March.
The virtual conference was also attended by participants from Burkina Faso, who briefed TANG members on the situation in the West African country in respect of the pandemic. Journalists and humanitarian workers from Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco and Nigeria have also participated in the video conference series.
As of 20 June, Germany had recorded 189,135 cases while 174,700 infected persons have recovered. COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, has killed 8,883 people in the country so far, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
More about The African Network in Germany (TANG) at http://tang-ev.de/