80,000 COVID Deaths: Germany To Mourn At Memorial

Georg Bätzing, Chairman of the German Bishops' Conference (DBK), stands in front of the altar during an ecumenical service for Germany's victims of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on April 18, 2021. Germany holds a national memorial service on April 18 for its 80,000 victims of the coronavirus pandemic, sharing the pain of grieving families and those who died alone because of Covid curbs. Gordon Welters / POOL / AFP
Georg Bätzing, Chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK), stands in front of the altar during an ecumenical service for Germany’s victims of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on April 18, 2021. Gordon Welters / POOL / AFP


Germany will hold a national memorial service on Sunday for its nearly 80,000 victims of the coronavirus pandemic, sharing the pain of grieving families and those who died alone because of Covid curbs.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will join an ecumenical service in the morning at Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a memorial against war and destruction.

They will later attend a ceremony at the capital’s Konzerthaus, where the president will make a speech.

With pandemic curbs still in force restricting the number of people who can attend, the ceremonies will be broadcast live on public television.

“As president I believe it is very important for us to stop to say goodbye in dignity to those who died during the pandemic — including those who did not fall victim to the virus but who also died in loneliness,” said Steinmeier as he announced the national service.

Besides suffering the pain of losing a loved one, restrictions in place to curb infections mean that relatives are often unable to even hold their family members’ hands as they lay dying.

Others have been left grieving on their own, as funerals or memorials are curtailed by pandemic curbs.

In a dialogue with the president earlier this year, relatives of coronavirus victims voiced their loneliness.

Michaela Mengel broke down in tears as she recalled her daughter’s last minutes as she died from the coronavirus in hospital.

“Last time I saw her alive was on Christmas Eve when I had to leave the hospital. She had oxygen piped into her nose, she looked at me with her big eyes,” Mengel told the president.

“Since she could not talk I told her, bye my dear, I love you, mama will be back.”

Steinmeier stressed that it was important to look beyond the daily victim counts.

“Behind every number, there’s a human fate,” he said.

Regional leaders urged citizens to join in the remembrance including by lighting candles by their windows from Friday to Sunday.

“We want to be aware of what we lost, but we also want to find hope and strength together,” the premiers of Germany’s 16 states said in a statement.

‘Only makes it worse’

Sunday’s ceremony comes as health authorities warn that many more will succumb to the virus, as Germany struggles to put down a vicious third wave gripping the country.

Europe’s biggest economy had come out of the first wave relatively unscathed but has struggled to take decisive action to end the current one fuelled mainly by the more contagious British variant.

Another 19,185 new infections were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the disease control agency RKI, with the numbers of deaths also rising by 67 to 79,914.

Merkel’s government is seeking greater powers to impose tougher measures such as night-time curfews, in a bid to circumvent Germany’s powerful regional authorities, some of whom have resisted implementing tough restrictions.

But the amendment which would impose so-called “emergency brakes” still has to be approved by parliament, where opposition parties like the pro-business FDP have vowed to vote against it.

Even junior coalition partner SPD is still seeking modifications, including for people to be allowed to go on walks during curfew hours.

Merkel urged swift and decisive action.

“The virus doesn’t forgive half-hearted measures, they only make it all worse,” she told the Bundestag lower house on Friday at the start of a debate on the amended law.

“The virus doesn’t let you negotiate with it — it only understands one language, the language of resolve.”


Bahrain School Holds Graduation On F1 Circuit

Graduates of Bahrain Bayan School wearing face masks and keeping distance to each other wait to receive their diplomas at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir race track on June 10, 2020 south of Bahraini capital Manama. – Eighty-two high school graduates received their diplomas in a special ceremony that observed social distancing regulations to minimise risk of exposure to the Covid-19 coronavirus. Graduates and their families remained in their cars before each student, wearing a face mask and being disinfected, walked from the car to the stage to receive the diploma. Mazen Mahdi / AFP.


As coronavirus bans wreak havoc on school-leaving events, one Bahrain school has honoured its seniors with a “drive-through” graduation ceremony complete with fireworks at the kingdom’s Formula One circuit.

In rows of well-spaced vehicles, students and their families lined up Wednesday evening in front of the main podium of Bahrain International Circuit, where Grand Prix races are held.

This year’s race was postponed as the pandemic threw the racing calendar into chaos, but the venue was repurposed to bid farewell to the Bahrain Bayan School graduates.

One by one the 82 seniors, dressed in traditional gowns and caps with the new addition of face masks, left their car to receive their degrees, to the backing of shouts of encouragement from their relatives.

Before reaching the podium, they passed through a sterilisation gate and waited in socially distanced marked bays before greeting the school principal — from a two metre distance — and briefly taking off their masks for a photo.

Families still in the cars waved the Gulf kingdom’s national flag and held placards congratulating their offspring, before fireworks lit up the sky in a finale.

Bahrain, with a population of some 1.5 million, half of them expats, has reported 16,200 coronavirus cases including 32 deaths.

The kingdom closed schools and universities as part of a nationwide shutdown to prevent the spread of the pandemic.


Oshiomhole Sacks New Perm Secs Over Lateness

adam 2Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has sworn in 18 new Permanent Secretaries out of  20 appointed into various ministries in the State.

The Governor reversed the appointment of two Permanent Secretaries on the grounds that they came late to the swearing-in ceremony.

The appointees were expected to have been seated at 12 noon for the ceremony, which was billed for 1pm.

However, the event kicked off at 12:30pm after Governor Oshiomhole’s arrival at 12:23pm; but only 18 of the 20 would-be Permanent Secretaries were seated at the time.

The other two arrived during the course of the ceremony and they did not escape the notice of the governor.

Governor Oshiomhole went ahead to swear-in the 18, 2 of whom were labour leaders. The Governor explained that the Labour Leaders were included deliberately to show the absence of animosity with labour activists.

Appeals for the other two Permanent Secretaries turned out futile.













Burial ceremony of Clara adeyinka Shodipo

On a sad note, The family of Shodipe gave their mother,grandmother; Chief Clara Adeyinka Shodipo a befitting burial in Lagos.

Mrs.Shodipo who died at the age of 85 was at a time the Chief Nursing Officer of the Federation  and Chairman of the Nursing Council of Nigeria.