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General News of Monday, 15 June 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Fact-check: Did WHO name Ghana as second-best country in coronavirus management?

Claim

A Facebook post by two campaign groups of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) have claimed the World Health Organisation (WHO) had touted Ghana as being the second-best country in the world after Germany, in terms of efficiency in the management of COVID-19 cases.

The post by the groups namely; “4 MORE 4 NANA 2 DO MORE” and “PRESIDENT NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO ADDO”, has been shared over 50 times on Facebook and garnered over 200 numerous engagements.

But checks by GhanaWeb.com reveal the claim was completely FALSE and the WHO had in NO WAY mentioned Ghana as the second-best country in terms of COVID-19 case management efficiency.

Explanation

Since Ghana recorded its first case of COVID-19 on March 12, 2020 despite an increasing number of cases since the period till date, the nation also quickly became one of the first African countries to ease the coronavirus restrictions in Accra and Kumasi on April 20, 2020.

Many essential and non-essential businesses have opened during this time especially. Over a period, the wearing of masks have become mandatory, washing of hands and social distancing have all been encouraged.

Meanwhile, some critics have however accused President Akufo-Addo of quickly easing some restrictions following the surge in the number of active cases and death toll.

With further claims of wrong management, partisan politicization by the ruling NPP government and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), many in the country are thus worried over the health sector's ability to efficiently manage the spread of the virus as identified hotspot areas continue to pop up by the day.

Verification

With regards to the claim the WHO had touted Ghana as the second best country after Germany in terms of efficient management of the COVID-19 outbreak, GhanaWeb.com visited the official WHO website to verify the authenticity of the claim.

Upon our visit to the website; www.who.int, we discovered there was NO CLAIM of a sort to indicate or confirm the said declaration by the two groups.

We also conducted a quick Google search to ascertain the claim in a bid to seek other possible sources to verify the claim.

A result from the Google search however revealed a news publication by RealGistGhana.com, which had earlier indicated that the Member of Parliament for Assin South Constituency in the Central Region, John Ntim Fordjour, had made a statement on Saturday, May 30, 2020 on Accra based Citi TV.

We accessed the video footage of a segment of a show on Citi TV and highlighted Mr. Fordjour’s comments spanning the time-lapse of 9.04 minutes to 10 minutes.

The MP on the show stated; “When it comes to Germany, Germany currently has 138,000 cases and 8,500 deaths but the Chancellor has ensured that restrictions have been eased. As we speak, they are even playing the Bundesliga under very strict guidelines…. The Germans have been absolutely efficient with this…. When you mention Germany, the next probable country that comes into mind in terms of efficiency in managing COVID-19 is Ghana and that is the fact that we must acknowledge. We must not be pessimistic about the efforts.”

The video footage has since been viewed by more than 12,000 people so far on YouTube.

Conclusion

While the comments made by the legislator on the show represent his individual views, the two groups seem to have taken the comments as a fact thus misconstruing and attributing the claim to the WHO.

Presently, the WHO has no ranking or record of countries’ performances on their COVID-19 efficiency in the management of cases and therefore has NOT mentioned Ghana as the second most efficient country after Germany as claimed by the groups on Facebook.

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