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It's time to evacuate Ghanaian students in China - Okudzeto Ablakwa

By Wendy Amarteifio
Okudzeto Ablakwa
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Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has indicated that it's time for the government to evacuate Ghanaian students in China.

According to him, no Ghanaian case has been confirmed in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak in China therefore it is prudent for the government to evacuate the students now to prevent them from contracting the deadly disease.

Speaking on Asempa FM today, Member of Parliament for North Tongu Mr Ablakwa said: ''Time is of the essence because as we speak when you check the portals no Ghanaian case has been reported. So this is the time to act, most of the universities are reporting first cases and the cases are going up. They are leaving the country with the students under lockdown. It is very dangerous. So you can move in and evacuate your nationals that is what you do in situations like this. That is what most countries do.''

Mr Ablakwa added that the trapped students in China are the same people who will return to the country to help develop the country hence must be evacuated immediately

''Some are doing accounting, medicine and other courses they will come back to help us develop.No one is in China idling they are trying their best to help the country when they arrive. Ghana is amongst few poor countries. Even Libya, Pakistan have evacuated their nationals so what could be the excuse. What justification do we have to abandon our nationals just like that''.

The over 150 students in Wuhan have called on the government to bring them back to Ghana due to the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The students have accused the Ghana government of not listening to their plea and Mr Ablakwa says the government needs to act fast because other countries are evacuating their nationals.

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However, the Director of Public Health at Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie has advised against evacuating Ghanaian students in Wuhan, China, following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Mr Sarkodie noted that this will be in line with some recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Among other things, WHO recommended that measures be put in place to limit the risk of exportation or importation of the disease between countries.

WHO also noted that these measures can be implemented without unnecessary restrictions on international travel.

Dr Sarkodie instead has advised that the government provides needed resources to the students in China.