The Ghana-India Trade Advisory Chamber (GITAC) has urged the World Health Organisation (WHO) and world superpowers to stop singing negative choruses about Africa, and rather applaud the continent for the robust measures being taken to combat, contain and prevent spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Chamber’s observation comes at a time when the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s latest report is predicting that Africa could witness 300,000 deaths from COVID-19 this year even under the best-case scenario; and in the worst-case scenario, with no interventions against the novel virus, 3.3 million deaths and 1.2 billion infections could be recorded on the continent.
The President of the Ghana-India Trade Advisory Chamber, Dominic Oduro-Antwi, said WHO statistics show that Africa has recorded the relatively lowest number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths as compared to China, UK, USA, Russia and France, which are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and exercise veto power at the world’s highest decision-making body.
With Italy, Germany, Iran and other developed countries being hit hard by thousands of COVID-19 cases, Mr. Oduro-Antwi is of the view that the spotlight ought to be on applauding and encouraging Africa’s efforts at contending with, containing and preventing spread of the pandemic.
Mr. Oduro-Antwi told the media last week in Accra: “Let’s praise Africa for the COVID-19 fight. WHO and its affiliates should learn to applaud Africa since the inception of COVID-19. Looking at the statistics from all over the world, Africa has the lowest number of cases. Why are we quiet? Or is the world waiting for COVID-19 cases in Africa to hit thousands and millions so that they can put us back there in the dark?”
He also called on the international media to put the spotlight on successes chalked up in disease prevention, control and treatment, as well as the contribution of Africans to the world economies.
According to him, the international media has deliberately done little to showcase the achievements of Africa but are quick to highlight disasters, conflict and wars on the continent. He stated that good news from Africa is not given the oxygen of publicity because they hardly find favour with the international media.
“I must say, it is about time Africans are praised when due and not always be showing wars, sickness and disasters on international TV stations. Every country in the world has challenges apart from Africa, but most of them do not wash their dirty clothes in public. As a matter of fact, whether it is early days yet or not for COVID-19 in Africa, I think Africa must be praised for its effort using the same WHO statistics.”
The Ghana-India Trade Advisory Chamber has encouraged Africa to scale-up compliance with social distancing protocols – particularly during the distribution of food to the needy.