Coronavirus: Ghana's refusal to evacuate students in Wuhan justified

Ghana’s Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said that the decision not to evacuate Ghanaian citizens from Wuhan in China, the epicentre of the Coronavirus disease [COVID-19] may have been beneficial to the country.

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

According to him, compared to countries that evacuated their citizens when the disease first broke out, Ghana has so far not recorded any case of the disease.

This has also given the country more time to prepare adequately should the disease enter Ghana.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said this in an interview with Accra based Citi Fm on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

He said some countries [in North Africa, Europe and the United States of America (USA)] who evacuated their citizens from the epicentre in Wuhan have all recorded cases of the disease in their respective countries and Ghana was yet to record a case.

“From the beginning, some of these countries that are now closing their borders totally said they were going to evacuate people from the epicenters when the advice was that, it is better to contain it within those places. So, you notice that for a country like Ghana, we decided not to evacuate [our residents from China]. There was a backlash. But what has happened is that, from that decision not to evacuate, we are of the view that it has contributed to holding this at bay. While some of the countries took a different route, which was to evacuate, now data is beginning to suggest most likely that they may have imported it from some of those places,” he said.

Adding that “We will follow the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) who we are working with us in Accra and the Ghanaian experts who are quite skilled in the management of some of these public health outbreaks. And we are optimistic that it will serve us well.”

Why Ghanaian students in China were not evacuated

The acting Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, emphasised at a press conference that evacuating Ghanaian students in Wuhan was not advisable.

According to him, stakeholders in Ghana and beyond had described that move as counter-productive and insisted that China even had a better capacity than Ghana in dealing with the disease in terms of prevention, management and treatment.

No Coronavirus in Ghana

As both the number of Coronavirus cases and deaths rise around the world, Ghana has as of now not recorded any case.

As of Wednesday, March 11, 2020, official figures from health authorities indicated that 57 suspected cases of the disease had all tested negative.

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