nvestigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni has come to the defense of persons questioning COVID-19 figures as presented by the government
For him asking questions for explanations on peculiar happenings respect to the numbers ( such as sudden jumps in numbers) cannot be wrong and those in charge of providing the numbers should be ready to give information to those who seek it.
“When I saw the latest number of Covid-19 recoveries, I was happy, but the first question that hit me was: “how did it happen”? I’m not doubting those responsible for putting out the figures, but I need to know how the testing of those being treated is done before they are declared fit. Are they done based on each patient’s state of health and they are announced as and when they test negative for the second time or they are done in bulk for which reason we had this exponential rise in recoveries in one day?
It is not wrong to ask questions. It’s not wrong to interrogate figures. If all along we’ve been recording single and low double digits of recoveries, and one day we are giving such a huge figure, one is inclined to seek further explanations. And it won’t be wrong for those who put out the figures to give that information.
Whenever there was an abnormal rise in the number of reported cases, we were given reasons. For instance, we were told how a factory in Tema led to the rise on one occasion. They told us why some figures were up abnormally because of the mandatory quarantine and testing,” he noted.
His comments come on the back of the condemnation and chastisement of Special aide to President John Mahama Joyce Bawa Mogtari who had wondered how possible it was to have 790 persons recover within a day after the Ghana Health Service updated the number of recovered cases to show that the said number had recovered of the virus with a space of 24 hours.
“How the hell did 790 more recover overnight! We must….” she had tweeted in response to the announcement, attracting widespread outright insults and condemnation especially from supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party(NPP).
But Manasseh Azure Awuni has asked that she and others be spared the insults, maintaining that it is within their right to question the numbers just as it is within the right of those who believe the numbers to believe them without questioning.
“So spare those asking questions the insults. It is obviously good news, and we must celebrate. But any honest person, including those insulting Joyce Bawa Mogtari, would admit that their first reaction, after seeing the figure, had some elements of surprise and questions about how it happened. If you decide to take it without interrogating the figures, it’s your right to do so, but don’t vilify those who need further explanations,” he posited.
He further contended that it is not patriotism to be believing of whatever the state churns out.
“Accepting everything from the state or government without questioning is not a strength of character. It is a weakness of the mind. It is not patriotism. It is fanaticism,” he concluded.
Meanwhile Ghana has recorded more cases of recovery even as the case count of infected persons has increased. The current statistics are: a total of 5,735 cases; 29 deaths and 1754 recoveries.