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General News of Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Source: Peace FM

Ghana's borders will remain closed till 'risk of importation' is minimal - Information Minister


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Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has indicated he cannot guarantee an early opening of the country's borders for the return of Ghanaian nationals stuck abroad.

As part of pragmatic steps to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Ghana has closed all borders to prevent the entry of persons into the country.

The border closure was necessitated after Ghana recorded imported cases of COVID-19 and it's one of the directives by President Nana Akufo-Addo to safeguard the citizens against transmission of the virus.

But some nationals are unfortunately caught at the receiving end of the decision, including musicians D-Black, Pappy Kodjoe, Sarkodie and a host of others, with the latter recently pleading with President Akufo-Addo to lift the boder restricitions.

But will their call be heeded by the President?

Jeopardize Lives of Citizens

The Information Minister, in an interview with host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo' program, Monday, asserted that until the threat of the pandemic is dealt with, and government is satisified of not jeopardizing the lives of citizens, the borders will remain closed.

According to him, one of the major risks of the Coronavirus transmission is the ''risk of importation''.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah explained that ''there is a community spread that needs to be contained. If that is not contained before and the borders are opened, your risk will go higher. It will be like using basket to fetch water and if care is not taken, our case will like that of UK. This is why we took a decision to close our borders''.

Minimal Risk of Importation

He however noted with concern the inconveniences associated with the border closure but asked the compatriots to exercise patience.

"Today, as we talk, our assessment is that the risk has not faded away. Until the risk is dealt with and we have put in place mitigaing measures to minimize the risk in any way now apart from the border closure, we haven't taken decision to open the borders. That is why the President has extended the border closure by two weeks. It is true many people have been inconvenienced."

''Not only traders but I can recall that musician Sarkodie is also stuck abroad . . . we understand our people who are outside. If we had the chance, we would have done something to lift the ban but because of our safety, the borders are closed," he posited.

Minister Locked Away

He further disclosed a Minister of State is among the Ghanaian nationals who have been locked down abroad due to the pandemic.

"Do you know a Minister of State has also been locked abroad? And the decision is that the borders are closed. He (Minister) was on a Ministerial assignment and couldn't come to Ghana before the borders were closed. Some even pleaded to give him a diplomatic flight but the President says the borders are closed."



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