News reports on social media claimed that Ghana has recorded a case of Ebola amid a resurgence from the West African countries of Guinea and, Congo.
On February 7, 2021, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared the emergence of a new case of Ebola in their country. According to authorities, it was detected in Butembo, a city in North Kivu Province, where a previous outbreak was declared in June of last year.
Officials from the Congolese Health Ministry said it took samples from a patient who started experiencing Ebola-like symptoms and had begun treatment at a health centre.
According to the officials, the patient who has since passed away was also the wife of an Ebola survivor.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on the other hand has issued an alert to six African countries requesting them to remain on the lookout for potential cases of Ebola.
It is in this light that a number of reports on social media are alleging that Ghana has recorded a case of Ebola in the country and that Health Authorities were trying to suppress information from the general public.
Checks by GhanaWeb Factcheck Desk to the website; news.af.feednews.com where the report was first shared showed its original link to the site has since been deleted as at the time of filing this report.
To further ascertain the claims, additional further checks by GhanaWeb revealed that Ghana’s Health Service (GHS) has issued a circular refuting the claims as false and has asked the general public to disregard the reports.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) in a response issued a fake news alert on its social media platform on Twitter on February 17, 2021.
“Ghana has not recorded any case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). However, the country is on high alert after Guinea, a West African neighbour, confirmed seven cases of EVD. Disregard the news circulating that Ghana has confirmed a case,” the post read.
See the post below:
Ghana has not recorded any case of Ebola Virus Disease(EVD). However the country is on high alert after Guinea, a West African neighbor, confirmed seven cases of EVD.— Ghana Health Service Official (@_GHSofficial) February 17, 2021
Disregard the news circulating that Ghana has confirmed a case. pic.twitter.com/3NC1QRsSga
Also, Ghana’s Health Service and Health Ministry on the other hand has issued a circular refuting the claims as false and has asked the general public to disregard the reports.
They had also issued a statement on their official website here providing further details and a rebuke to the report.
“It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service through the social media reports which claim that there is an outbreak of Ebola in the country and the Health Authorities are trying to suppress the information.”
“We want to state emphatically that the report is false and misleading and that there is no such incidence of Ebola in Ghana. Ebola is a highly infectious condition such that when there is an outbreak in a community there is no way the National Health System can keep it secret from the public. The Health System is part the global community and mandated by International Health Regulation to report all such conditions if they occur.”
“We want to assure the general public that since the reported outbreak in DR Congo, the surveillance system has been intensified including the Points of Entries to detect any case should it occur. We will plead with the media and the general public to be advocates of good health and allay fear and panic. We also urge all to use their platform to educate the citizenry about the disease as contained in our Alert rather than promoting fear and panic” portions of the statement read.
The news circulating on social media that Ghana has recorded a case of Ebola is false. The Ghana Health Service has debunked the claim and has asked the public to disregard such claims. Also, the website that was identified to have first shared the fake news has deleted the content.