A Deputy Health Minister, Alex Abban has defended government’s decision not to evacuate Ghanaians students from China in the wake of the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in that country.
According to him, there could be an outbreak of the Coronavirus in Ghana if students in China are brought to Ghana.
The Deputy Minister said this on Citi TV/FM’s current affairs programme, The Big Issue on Saturday, 15th February 2020.
“Now with the advice that we have received, what we know is that the standard protocol is that you deal with the epidemic where it has occurred so that you prevent it from spreading,” he said.
The Deputy Minister used the influenza outbreak at the Kumasi Acadamy to buttress his point on the decision not to evacuate Ghanaian students in China.
“If we recall, there was some outbreak at the Kumasi Academy here in Ghana. That we may say was on a micro level but I think that in protocols, it’s no different. When that happened, there were calls for people to go back to their various homes and that call was rightfully ignored and one person, who had actually gone home, was brought back so that we did not increase any risk of a spread.”
“So it was contained in there and dealt with…Everybody’s mind was at ease that once it has been dealt with at where it has occurred and people had actually not moved out, the thinking that it will even spread was quite remote.”
The Deputy Minister also said the countries that have contracted the disease did so due to travels and evacuation.
“Now let us look at where it got to Hong Kong and let’s look at how it got to Japan and how it got to the UK. In all these instances, the common factor was travelling or evacuation. People carried it out so they went to create their own spread of epicentres.”
Coronavirus: We won’t give up until Ghanaians in China are evacuated – Minority
The Minority Caucus in Parliament says it will not relent in its efforts to convince the government to evacuate Ghanaian students from China.
The caucus on Tuesday,11th February 2020 issued a three-day ultimatum to the government to evacuate all Ghanaian nationals living in China, following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus that has so far claimed the lives of over 1,400 people.
Many countries concerned about the safety of their nationals, have evacuated them from that country.
Speaking to Citi News, Minority Spokespersons on Foreign Affairs and Health, Kobina Mintah Akandoh said the Committee will not rest until all Ghanaians in China are brought home safely.
“Today, we are expecting the officials from the Ministry of Health to come and brief our Committee. The only assurance I can give is that we are not going to relent until the Ghanaians in China, especially Wuhan are evacuated to Ghana.”
“Today I will contact leadership and draw leadership’s attention to the fact that tomorrow ends the three-day ultimatum and the next line of action will be determined from there. Some of the students tell me they are in a very difficult condition and even some of them, how to get food to eat is a problem so it is not any good news at all.”
Parents call for evacuation
Parents of Ghanaian students in China’s Wuhan Province had also mounted pressure on the government to evacuate their children currently stranded in China as the Coronavirus outbreak intensifies.
They contend that the government will face their wrath should any of the Ghanaian students contract the virus.
Students desperate for evacuation
The Ghanaian students have also been calling on the government to evacuate them over the coronavirus fears.
But the government insists it will take its time on the matter and weigh its options.
by Ernest Arhinful