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We've been advised not to undertake mass evacuation of Ghanaian students in China - Gov't

By Mutala Yakubu

The government says they have been advised by experts not to undertake a mass evacuation of Ghanaian students from China following the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus.

According to the Ministry of Health, consultations and engagements with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other regional bodies do not encourage the evacuation of Ghanaian nationals from China.

Ghanaian students in China have called on the government on several times to evacuate them back to Ghana.

The Minority in Parliament has also issued a three-day ultimatum to the government to evacuate the students to a less prone area in China or back to Ghana.

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

In a statement, the Ministry said the government is liaising with the embassy in China to ensure that all citizens continue to remain safe as no Ghanaian student has been reported to have contracted the virus.

“We are working in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, West African Health Organisation, US Centres for Disease Control and other Development Partners, discussing and reviewing our strategies day by day. So far, all advice through consultations and engagements is not encouraging us to undertake mass evacuation because sub-regional consultation- the West African Health Organisation is engaging member states and has not recommended evacuation yet.”

The Ministry also said it is reviewing the situation by the hour and will when necessary, tow the appropriate next line of action, including evacuation.

“The Government of Ghana is much concerned about our citizens in China especially the Ghanaian students and is working to ensure their protection, safety and wellbeing as we continue to supply basic needs. We want to assure the public that, as per the management of all outbreaks which is a dynamic activity, we will continue to monitor the situation and act as appropriate. We will further wish to advise Ghanaians to delay non-essential travels to China,” the statement added.

Ghanaian students in Wuhan have been calling on the government to evacuate them over the novel coronavirus fears.

But the government insists it will take its time on the matter and weigh its options.

A Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, also complained about the lack of action from the state on the calls.

READ ALSO: Gov't will evacuate all Ghanaian students from China - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Special Adviser to the President on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare, however, stressed that the government will not bow to any pressure.