Ghanaian authorities are coming under scrutiny as civil society groups and other citizens accuse them of massaging some aspects of the country’s Covid-19 data.
The country’s health officials are said to be under-reporting data especially the number of deaths across the country from the virus.
Ghana has so far confirmed 12,193 cases of the virus with 58 deaths and 4,326 recoveries as at Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
But a pressure group, OccupyGhana said in a statement that “There is cause to suspect that the death numbers are being massaged.”
On Sunday when Ghana’s President addressed citizens via national television, he said the country’s deaths from the virus was 54.
President Akufo Addo said “the number of COVID-19 related deaths, sad though each death is, continues to remain very low, one of the lowest in Africa and the world.
With fifty-four (54) deaths currently reported by the Ghana Health Service thus far in Ghana, the ratio of deaths to positive cases stands at 0.4%, compared to the global average of 5.5%, and the African average of 2.6%.”
But OccupyGhana said “The reported 54 deaths so far cannot be right. For instance, even though 38 deaths have been reported from the Ashanti Region alone, less than 20 of those deaths are included in the national count!”
“If the public suspects under reporting etc, there will be a loss of trust in the reporting system and that will have consequences that will influence public behavioural responses,” the group warned.
There are reports some health workers within the regions have been concerned for a long time about national health officials under reporting figures related to infections and deaths.
Ghana’s Health Service has however denied under-reporting figures with its officials saying on Tuesday that they had to validate every figure before reporting it publicly.
Ghana Health Service D-G says it’s untrue #COVID19 deaths are being downplayed, explaining the number of regional deaths may be less than national because the figs would first need to be validated.
Meanwhile there were no co-morbidities in the case of 2 of the 4 latest deaths. pic.twitter.com/V7u2vrKI8k
— Israel Laryea (@TheIsraelLaryea) June 16, 2020
Ghana remains one of the hardest hit African countries but it has relaxed most of its lockdown restrictions so people can return to normal way of life.
On Sunday Ghana’s President, told his country’s citizens that their survival against the Coronavirus is in their own hands.
Nana Akufo Addo said that “our survival is in our own hands”, referring to the citizens while urging them to remain safe from catching the virus.
He was concerned people may ignore health protocols, which could put their health at risk as he announced compulsory use of face masks in public.
Critics of the government have said the high cases call for tighter measures to contain the spread of the virus.