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False news on COVID-19 major challenge — Prof. Tagoe

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
Prof. Michael Tagoe
Prof. Michael Tagoe

The Provost of the College of Education of the University of Ghana, Prof. Michael Tagoe, has said misinformation on COVID-19 is affecting the fight against the pandemic.

“In Ghana, there has been a barrage of false news about the virus. We have heard people say a lot of things, such as ‘the virus does not exist’, ‘the virus has been eradicated’, ‘the virus is for people in the city’, ‘alcohol cures COVID-19’, ‘steaming cures COVID-19’, and the list goes on and on.

“We have a collective responsibility, as citizens, to help our government contain the virus. Much responsibility is now in our hands to take control of our destiny and that of our children,” he said.

Speaking at the closing session of the 72nd Annual New Year School and Conference at the University of Ghana, Prof. Tagoe stressed the need for education to be seen as a key strategy to build a resilient economy in the face of the global health crisis.

Collective responsibility

Prof. Tagoe expressed worry that as the government tried to contain the virus, there was a high level of non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.

"Many of us are not wearing the face masks, and even in cases where masks are worn, you find a lot of us not wearing them correctly and also not observing social distancing," he lamented.

He said health literacy had to do with all that was obtained and processed, adding: "The health decision we make today has implications for the future and, therefore, we need to develop personal and collective attitudes."

He observed that no country had been spared the COVID-19, which had led to the stagnation of economies throughout the world.

Commendation

Prof. Tagoe thanked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the keynote speaker at the event, Dr Anaafi Asamoa-Baah, and other high-profile personalities who accepted to grace the event.

He also commended the staff of the university, especially those of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, and the planning committee of the Annual New Year School and Conference for the respective roles they played in making the school successful.

Impact of COVID-19

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic and Student Affairs of the University of Ghana, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, who chaired the session, said in spite of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had brought about opportunities which many people in the business community had taken advantage of to make money.

She reminded participants that the end of the school was an avenue to "air our views, share experiences as participants and make recommendations for implementation", adding that it was the view of the organisers that the conference was not a talk shop.