President Akufo Addo has been exposed as having peddled false information by claiming that Ghana had made more COVID-19 tests per million people than any other country in Africa.
However, Agence France-Presse (AFP), the international news agency headquartered in Paris has pointed out that that claim was completely false. “Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo claimed in a speech that his country had administered more COVID-19 tests per million people than any other country in Africa. However, the claim is false; AFP has found from available statistics that Ghana comes behind South Africa and at least two other African countries,” AFP said on its fact-checking platform a day ago.
President Akufo Addo made the fantastic claim on May 10, 2020, during his last Covid-19 public address.
During his ninth Covid-19 public address, President Akufo Addo stated: “Our country has administered more tests per million people than any other country in Africa, and, in fact, the World Health Organization… has reached out to us to share our sample-pooling experience with other African countries, so they can adopt this strategy and also ramp up their testing capabilities,” he said in his ninth address on the crisis.
But as it turned out, Ghana’s testing was way behind countries like Djibouti, South Africa and Mauritius.
According to AFP, Akufo-Addo’s claim had deceived several local and international news media organisations, including the New York Times, which all carried the news of Ghana’s alleged superior testing for Covid-19.
“But the claim is false. To verify this, AFP compared available data from Ghana to that of five other countries: Nigeria, the most populous African nation; South Africa, which has administered the highest number of tests overall according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; and Mauritius, Botswana and Djibouti, because while much smaller in population, these countries have conducted relatively high numbers of tests,” AFP said.
“Of these five, AFP found that Nigeria and Botswana rank lower than Ghana in COVID-19 tests per million people, while South Africa, Djibouti and Mauritius rank higher.”
This latest good in Covid-19 data has dogged the Akufo Addo administration and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) since the country first recorded its official Covid-19 patients on March 12, 2020.
The GHS and the Noguchi Memorial Medical Research Centre have recently been caught in the centre of a controversy over the actual number of some 80,000 tests confirmed by the government. The two agencies could not agree on whether the test comprised individuals or all sorts of tests, including retesting.
This controversy was particularly important because the numbers within that period exceeded the daily officially stated testing capacity of all testing institutions in the country.
Consequently, figures put out by the GHS has been challenged by critics as not being credible. The GHS was bombarded with angry rebuttals from experts and general critics when it claimed about a week ago that Ghana’s Covid-19 cases had peaked and can only start a downward trend.
However, shortly after this announcement, Ghana’s number of official infections jumped from about 3,000 to over 5,000 cases.
Meanwhile, Whatsup News has gathered that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has waded in to probe Ghana’s data.