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Opinions of Monday, 17 February 2020

Columnist: Abdul Hayi Moomen

The call for the evacuation of Ghanaians in China

I interviewed Dr Patrick Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service concerning the call by Ghanaian Students in Wuhan Province in China to be evacuated back home.

His explanation was that the virus' epicenter is in Wuhan, the Chinese authorities themselves have, according to him, restricted movements to and from that province in order to curb the further spread of the virus. That alone would make it difficult for any effort aimed at evacuation.

He says, furthermore, it is those Ghanaians in Wuhan province whose evacuation will be problematic and not the entirety of Ghanaians in China, because even if they arrived in Ghana and were quarantined, if any of them is diagnosed of the virus whiles in quarantine, they may risk losing their lives.

At the moment, China has the best medical equipment to cure the virus. So far, thousands of infected people have been treated in Chinese hospitals and they have subsequently tested negative.

He adds that were such Ghanaians to be evacuated to Ghana, at the moment, even if they do not have the virus, they run the risk of being stigmatized.

He asked me a rhetorical question "who will be willing to host evacuated Ghanaians from Wuhan province in China?"

He assures Ghanaians in that province in particular, that the Ghana Health Service is collaborating with the Chinese authorities to ensure that they remain safe and away from the virus.

I asked him how the UK was able to evacuate some of her citizens. In his response, he referred me to the repercussions the UK suffered after that evacuation.

One of the evacuated men was actually a carrier who went on to infect others. Being advanced in medicine, the UK was able to quickly deal with the spread.

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