Ghana’s Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, Anthony Akoto Osei, who is trapped in the US, the world’s epicenter for coronavirus is to be evacuated.
Reports say he has been in the US for over a month.
He had visited the States on official duty when President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the closure of Ghana’s borders on March 22, 2020, to prevent the importation of coronavirus.
The borders were initially closed for two weeks but the President extended the time, and they are now to remain closed until May 31st.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, had earlier dropped the hint about the stranded minister when Ghanaians stranded abroad were agitating for the reopening of the airport to enable them to return even in the midst of the Covid-19 scourge.
The United States has recorded an estimated 1.3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, 78,200 deaths and 183,000 recoveries.
Compilation Of Names*
However Government is considering evacuating Ghanaians who are stranded abroad due to border restrictions imposed in various countries across the world, following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
This is according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry says it was seriously putting in place measures to make sure that such a programme is implemented.
Already Ghanaian missions are compiling names of stranded travelers.
A deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu, in an interview, said President Akufo-Addo has already engaged all ambassadors on the issue.
He also said that Ghanaian diplomats have been directed to put together data on all Ghanaians who are stuck abroad for some action to be taken.
Mr. Owiredu stated that whatever decision that government will arrive at will be influenced by the available information on the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’ve received some requests and calls from some Ghanaians in the UK, US and in other countries (for evacuations to be done). Like I said, based on the earlier discussions the President had with the ambassadors, they are supposed to furnish us with data of stuck Ghanaians who find themselves in such situations. (Whatever decision will be taken), we’ll be led by the science,” he said.
Many Ghanaians who travelled outside the country for various reasons and were due to return home from February 2020 but could not do so due to air travel restrictions of various countries following the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic have been calling for government to evacuate them.
Though Ghana is yet to evacuate any of its citizens abroad, countries such as the US and UK have been evacuating their citizens from various countries including Ghana where thousands of foreigners have been airlifted back home due to the spread of coronavirus.
By Melvin Tarlue