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BBC correspondent denies reporting first coronavirus case in Ghana

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Researched by Rabiu Alhassan

“It is false, the BBC has not reported that!” BBC correspondent in Ghana, Thomas Naadi said to GhanaFact.

This follows a viral screenshot of a story allegedly published by the BBC claiming Ghana has recorded its first confirmed coronavirus case.

The screenshot has the BBC logo embossed at the top and dated March 11, with the title “Coronavirus: Ghana confirms first case in the University of Ghana.”

According to the “false” story, the patient is a Ghanaian citizen and a student of the University of Ghana who flew into the country from Italy on March 11.

“It’s fake. Ignore. I don’t know why people are so wicked. I don’t know why people will want to do something like that,” Thomas Naadi added.

A content search on the BBC website by GhanaFact showed there was no such story on the platform.

The misinformers modified the HTML codes from the BBC website to create the false headline and story alleging there has been a confirmed coronavirus case in Ghana.

“Browsers have tools that help developers to debug and test things on web pages. These tools can be used to change anything on the frontend temporarily until the page is refreshed. So, web pages which are the front-facing parts of a website can be edited easily with the browser developer tools,” a Software Engineer based in Accra, Sosthenes Kwame Boame said in an interview with GhanaFact.

No case of coronavirus in Ghana

According to the Ghana Health Service, 57(fifty-seven) suspected cases of coronavirus in Ghana have all tested negative as of March 11.

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“Indeed, we also have received such alerts. The information is that the lab has not done any test that has turned out to be positive. We’ve confirmed this with Noguchi and KCCI. There are no confirmed cases in Ghana. Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Badu Sarkodie stated in an interview with GhanaFact.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has temporarily suspended foreign travels by public officials as part of measures to prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ghana.

The President is expected to address the nation at 8 pm on March 11 to update Ghanaians on “enhanced measures taken by government” to protect the general public from contracting the virus.

Eight African countries confirm coronavirus cases

Côte d’Ivoire joins seven other African countries including Algeria, Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, Egypt and Togo to have confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Egypt that has a total of 59 confirmed cases, the highest number in Africa, has also recorded one death, according to the WHO Situation report 50 on the global spread of the Coronavirus disease  (COVID-19) released on March 10, 2020.

Globally there are 113 702 confirmed cases and 4012 deaths, with WHO declaring that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic.

Update: The WHO has confirmed that the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burkina Faso have also recorded coronavirus cases, taking the number of African countries with confirmed cases to Ten(10) as at March 11.

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