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General News of Sunday, 26 July 2020


Coronavirus feeding: 400,000 raises a red flag, let's probe further - Health expert

Government distributed hot meals to some vulnerable persons during the lockdown Government distributed hot meals to some vulnerable persons during the lockdown

Dr Kwame Sarpong Asiedu, an expert on Public Health, has asserted that the round figure of 400,000 people, who the government said were fed during the COVID-19 lockdown period, raises doubts and looks like an estimation rather than the real number of people fed.

It is his contention that the 400, 000 figure, provided by the government as vulnerable persons who it fed, is a red flag in the data and requires further interrogation given its round nature, especially because human beings were involved.

In a mid-year budget review read in Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta last Friday, it came to light that the government spent in excess of GHS 54 million to provide food for people who struggle to feed during Ghana’s COVID-19 lockdown in Accra, Kasoa and Kumasi.

The revelation set tongues wagging, with many saying the amount has been padded and accusing government of corruption.

But Dr Asiedu Sarpong, who has been providing in depth analyses on Ghana’s COVID-19 situation, has argued that the number of persons raises questions for him even as others doubt the amount of money spent.

“I like data and always see a red flag when I see round data in any endeavor that involves humans. So whilst many worry about the cost of the lockdown feeding, I worry about the 400,000 number of people fed. It looks too rounded and seems more like an approximation. Can we interrogate this further?” He argued.

Debate on the amount however is continuing on especially social media. Government communicators are hard at work explaining and justifying the amount spent.

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