Okoe Boye, Deputy Minster of Health, Republic of Ghana

This is my take, 54 countries on the continent and we are leading and showing the way. Why should we let our strength be on the fact that it should have been South Africa first before Ghana or Mauritius before Ghana.

“Bottom line, where is Ivory Coast, where is Botswana, where is Nigeria? All these countries are lagging and we Ghana, together with South Africa are showing the way. This is what should give us comfort that the President did not set out to deceive but to give comfort.

“For me, our argument should not be whether we are the first of three or the second of the three but 54 countries and we are part of those showing the way”.

This is how the Deputy Health Minister Bernard Okoe-Boye chose to respond to a story by French news agency AFP which sought to expose an inaccuracy by President Akufo-Addo in his 9th address on the coronavirus pandemic.

The President averred that Ghana’s test per million people ranks high above any other country on the continent.

However a careful analysis of Ghana’s data and that of other nations on the continent revealed that the president’s claim was not factual.

The AFP said “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”.

Dr Okoe-Boye who was a guest on Joy News’ ‘Beyond the Lockdown’ show declined to confirm or deny the claim by the news agency.

He instead focused his submissions on downplaying the significance of the revelation and urged Ghanaians to focus on the good works being done by the government in the fight against the virus.

Dr Okoe-Boye failed to give an emphatic response to the question on whether the President committed a gaffe or not.

On the same show was Dr. Dacosta Aboagye, the Covid-19 risk Communication Director whose submissions took a similar twist to that of the minister.

Dr. Aboagye noted that instead of spending time to debate an issue which in his view had little significance on the bigger picture of Ghana’s coronavirus fight, Ghanaians should rather celebrate the strides made by the government.

According to him, discussions on the pandemic should be centred on the safety protocols and measures advised by the authorities.

“I think we must be proud of what we have achieved in terms of our three Ts where countries are now beginning to take decisions that we took about two months ago. I think that should be our determining factor because I believe we have done some amazing things with the COVID fight”.

“We should be discussing the control measures. What we are going to put in place for the country to ease restrictions as we move forward. Whether the President said this or that is not [necessary] but let’s look at the positives and what we have actually achieved as a country,” he said.



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