Mr Laud Kwasi Afrifa, the Deputy Comptroller General of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has announced that eight Nigeriens and two Burkinabes who were placed under mandatory quarantine have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.
He said the 10 used illegal routes to cross into the country and cautioned those in the border communities against aiding such illegal entries.
Mr Afrifa, who was addressing the media in Accra, warned that offenders would be ruthlessly dealt with as they were undermining the national efforts to prevent the importation of the disease into Ghana.
“These are persons from the Sub-region and not from the Europe or the East, adding, “this tells us the danger or what we should be expecting if we continue to smuggle persons across our borders”.
“Our operations to protect our borders is, therefore, not a humanitarian one like the Operation Covid-19 Safety, it is a combative and robust one, thus any unpatriotic citizen will not be spared”.
The media briefing addressed by various authorities was to update citizens on efforts being made to enforce the President’s directives on combating the pandemic.
Mr Afrifa said in the early hours of March 29, 2020, two Nigerians and a Ghanaian were also intercepted at the Sogakope border in the Volta Region, having entered the country through various unapproved roads on the Aflao border stretch.
“They have been arrested, as well as the driver, and they are going for mandatory quarantine and the decision as to what punishment to impose on them will be decided,” he stated.
“All this means that we have unpatriotic people in the border communities who want to undermine government efforts and are putting the whole country at risk,” he stated.
Mr Afrifa said after the announcement on the restriction of movement in 40 localities, some people were now moving from Accra and Kumasi to other regions to avoid the restrictions.
“We are now seeing people, especially, foreigners moving from Accra attempting to leave the country through the borders,” he stated.
“As we speak, 22 Malians and Nigeriens have been intercepted at the Tatale border who have been returned, are being monitored to ensure they don’t use other routes to get out of the country,” he added.
Speaking on transportation, Mr Afrifa said cargo trucks had been exempted from the shutdown but records of the trucks, their destinations, the drivers and their assistants were taken and shared with the regional command for follow-ups in conjunction with the health services.
Even with the various measures, he noted that some transporters of cargo were also conspiring and transporting people illegally, which must immediately cease.
Ghana has so far recorded a total of 152 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with five deaths and two recoveries.
Government as part of measures to prevent and curtail the spread of the virus announced a total shutdown at the country’s various points of entry.