President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has says government has not ruled out the option of evacuating Ghanaian students from the epicentre of China’s coronavirus outbreak.
According to him, government is putting in place measures to ensure that their evacuation, “if it happens”, does not lead to the dissemination of fear and panic in Ghana.
Minority and students pressure
Some students residing in Wuhan have pleaded with government to repatriate them from the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
According to them, they feel abandoned by government given that North African countries such as Morrocco and Egypt have airlifted their nationals on chartered flights.
The Minority in Parliament has also been mounting pressure on government to immediately evacuate the students since the outbreak of the disease had created general panic among them.
According to them, things would become more risky if the government waited for there to be a confirmed case before evacuating its nationals.
The Minority Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who addressed the press in Parliament last Wednesday acknowledging the WHO protocols requirements for safe evacuation of nationals and urged the government to follow such laid-down protocols to evacuate the students.
But delivering the 2020 State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, President Akufo-Addo said government was in constant touch with the Chinese government to ensure that the students wellbeing was being catered for.
“Most of these students are on Chinese government scholarships and since the crisis started, the Chinese government has done its best to keep with supply of food and logistics. However, we know that no amount of logistics will make up for the stress and trauma that these students are going through,” he said.
He noted however that any attempt to politicise the situation would spread fear and panic among the Ghanaian student population in China.
He therefore urged the Members of Parliament to be circumspect in their discussions.
“We have a delicate situation on our hands and it does not benefit anybody to try to score points by introducing ill-judged politics into this ongoing medical conundrum and humanitarian tragedy. I entreat members of this house to set an example by helping to pour oil over troubled waters instead of instigating tension and spreading fear and panic among these young people,” he said.
“The government is in constant touch with experts on this subject who advise that the basic principle of public health is to confine the disease to the area of its origin but we have not ruled out the option of evacuating the students from Wuhan if it becomes necessary,” he added.
He assured that plans were in place to ensure that if an evacuation became necessary, it would not cause fear and panic amongst the general population in Ghana.
“We have put in place measures to ensure that their evacuation back into Ghana if it happens does not lead to the dissemination of fear and panic amongst the general population,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo also expressed optimism that the measures being put in place by the Chinese government to contain the spread of the coronavirus would bring to an end the nightmare being caused by the CONVID-19.
Meanwhile, government has spent about US$250,000 spent to cater for Ghanaian students in Wuhan.