Coronavirus: Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo breaks silence on call to evacuate Ghanaians from China

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that the government has not ruled out the option of evacuating Ghanaian students from China following the coronavirus outbreak.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

According to him, the 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.

President Akufo-Addo said this while giving the state of the nation’s address on the floor of parliament on Thursday, February 20, 2020.

Minority call to evacuate Ghanaians from China

The Minority in Parliament has been mounting pressure on the government to immediately evacuate the students since the outbreak of the disease had created general panic among them.

According to them, things would become riskier 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 recently acknowledging the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols requirements for the safe evacuation of nationals and urged the government to follow such laid-down protocols to evacuate the students.

What President Akufo-Addo said

President Akufo-Addo noted 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.

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