Evacuation of Ghanaians in China not recommended yet - Health Ministry

Evacuation of Ghanaians in China not recommended yet - Health Ministry
Source: Myjoyonline.com| Oswald Azumah| oswald.azumah@myjoyonline.com| Twitter: @THEOswald_
Date: 13-02-2020 Time: 03:02:33:pm

There are no immediate plans to evacuate Ghanaian students living in the Wuhan city of China over coronavirus scares.

This was reiterated by the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Patrick Aboagye after a statement from the Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu communicated same on Wednesday.

According to the Ministry, collaborations with global and regional organisations have not pointed to evacuating locals living in the epicentre of the deadly virus.

“So far, all advice through consultations and engagements is not encouraging us to undertake mass evacuation as yet because of the following…Sub-regional consultation - the West African Health Organisation is engaging member states and has not recommended evacuation yet.

“Public Health principles in outbreak situations.

“All these notwithstanding, we are reviewing the situation by the hour and when it becomes necessary, we will tow the next line of action as appropriate, including evacuation,” the Minister’s statement read.

Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who is the Minority spokesperson on Foreign Affairs has, however, been demanding evacuation of all Ghanaians in the Chinese region.

He said government should follow other countries’ lead and bring Ghanaians there home.

It is better to have our compatriots back to Ghana safely, particularly at this time that there is no confirmation of a Ghanaian case than for us all to be sorry later,” he said in a short post on social media.

However, Dr Aboagye, responding to questions from journalists Thursday, said Ghana cannot follow the lead of advanced countries like the US.

The superpower, he explained, has advanced mechanisms to contain a possible spread of the virus should any of the returnees be infected.

He said US citizens who were evacuated were put in a negative chamber and “when you are in that room nothing gets out.”

“We don’t have that here,” he said, adding there more protective systems in China.