Kwaku Agyeman Manu – Minister of Health
THE GOVERNMENT has announced that it has plans
to evacuate Ghanaians, especially students locked in China, due to the deadly coronavirus,
should the need arise.
It has, therefore, asked the opposition National
Democratic Congress (NDC) elements to stop spreading fear and panic among
Ghanaians about the deadly virus.
Making the announcement yesterday, President Akufo-Addo
stated that the government is closely monitoring the health status and
conditions of Ghanaians that are in China currently, especially those in Wuhan,
where the deadly virus started spreading.
According to him, the needed logistics and
financial support had been provided to these Ghanaians, who are mostly students,
to help ensure that they are safe and well protected.
President Akufo-Addo announced that Chinese
authorities had collaborated well with their Ghanaian counterparts in making
sure that the Ghanaians in China are safe.
However, he announced “my government would not
hesitate in evacuating Ghanaians in China back to Ghana if it becomes necessary
that they should be brought back.”
Delivering this year’s State of the Nations
Address (SONA), the President noted that Ghana is firmly behind the government
and people of China in these trying and difficult moments.
“We sympathise with the people of China in this
time of trouble”, he stated, adding “I have written our support on paper to
President Xi Jinpin and his government already.”
According to him, like the rest of the
countries in the world, Ghana would continue to support China in any way
possible so that the deadly disease, which had claimed human lives, would be
According to him, about 4,760 Ghanaian students
are currently studying in China and 200 of that number are in Wuhan.
The President stated that the aforementioned
statistics should be a concern to every Ghanaian, especially those that have
the interest and well-being of Ghanaians in China at heart.
He said nobody should try to politicise the coronavirus
issue, noting that the lives of Ghanaians are involved so he was expecting
politicians to offer their support to help resolve the situation.
The opposition NDC in the past week has been
trying to make political capital out of the sad situation by inciting some
parents of the students against the government.
“We have a delicate issue at hand so nobody
should bring politics into this sensitive issue. Politics should not spark fear
and panic with the coronavirus issue,” the President stressed.
He said since the outbreak of the coronavirus,
the government through its mission has provided logistics and the embassy has
given so far $500 to each student.
“However, we know that no amount of logistics
will make up for the extreme stress and trauma that these young people are going
through,” the President pointed out.
According to him, every patriotic Ghanaian
should play roles to help ensure the safety of Ghanaians in China but not to
create unnecessary tension and fear among the people.
According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 has claimed 1,023 deaths amongst 44, 415 laboratory-confirmed cases as of 11 February.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi