WHO denies allegation that its representative falsified Equatorial Guinea COVID-19 data

The World Health Organization (WHO) has denied allegations that its representative in Equatorial Guinea falsified the country’s COVID-19 case numbers.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) headquarters are pictured in Geneva April 27, 2009. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The WHO said the ejection of its representative from the Central African country was only due to a “misunderstanding over data.”

The government of Equatorial Guinea on May 26 asked WHO to immediately replace the representative, Triphonie Nkurunziza.

Equatorial Guinea has asked the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in the country to leave.

Authorities of Equatorial Guinea have accused the said official, Triphonie Nkurunziza of falsifying the country’s COVID-19 case figures.

The country’s Prime Minister Pascual Obama Asue said when he appeared at the Senate last week that “We don’t have a problem with the WHO, we have a problem with the WHO’s representative in Malabo.”

In a statement, the WHO described the government’s decision as “regrettable” and defended Nkurunziza’s integrity.

“There has been a misunderstanding over data, which WHO offered to clarify. WHO wishes to state that Dr. Nkurunziza did not falsify COVID-19 figures,” the statement said.

The country is not the first African country to ask a WHO official to leave.

Burundi also last month ordered WHO officials to leave the country following a disagreement over their reporting on the Covid-19 there.

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