President Akufo-Addo’s government’s decision to keep Ghanaian students studying in China there against transporting them back to the country despite the backlash it received from a section of the public, particularly, members of the opposition party has received commendations from diplomatic missions in China.
According to the Ambassador, Ghana’s handling of the situation and how well they took care of their nationals, particularly, the students, has won the admiration of other diplomatic missions in China who keep commending the Embassy for the work done.
The fact that no Ghanaian has been infected and the students feel more comfortable in China, the Ambassador suggested, has vindicated the firm position taken by President Akufo-Addo based on the advice of the Chinese government.
“We took that decision and I think the President has to be really applauded for taking that bold decision to leave the students here because he felt at the time that was the best thing to do because the Chinese had told us of all the containment measures they had put in place,” the Ghanaian Ambassador to China said on Point of View on Citi TV.
He added, “Fortunately for us none of our students, none of our people got infected. We didn’t lose anybody in the process. The students are quite happy now. Government sent money, sent resources and we have been able to manage the situation.”
“Let me put on record that, Ghana Embassy in China took better of their people than any other embassy including the Western countries. We get recommendations from the other embassies that ‘wow, you guys did very well'” he boasted.
Edward Boateng believes had other countries heeded to the caution by the Chinese government not to evacuate their students, or nationals in the country, like President Akufo-Addo did, perhaps, the fast spread of the virus globally would have been minimised.
Some Ghanaian students in China advocated strongly to be evacuated to Ghana at the peak of the outbreak of the virus in China at the start of the year.
The Akufo-Addo government, based on advice from the Chinese government, declined the request but instead ensured the students were adequately provided with all essential needs to make them comfortable and keep them safe in China.
The interventions put in place by the government included the provision of Ghanaian meals, counselling services, disbursement of money, distribution of safety materials, among others, according to the Ambassador, has changed the narrative.
“…Today, if the plane was brought, I don’t think any student will board because they have realised the wisdom of the decision taken at that time,” the Ambassador said on the show monitored by ABC News.
“The conversation has been different for the last three weeks. Obviously, when it started the Chinese authorities contacted all countries that had citizens here that people should stay…they told us this was very contagious. I wish that countries had heeded to this advice they gave them maybe we wouldn’t be seeing this massive spread around the world,” he added.
The cases globally have gone past the 100, 000 mark with Italy, Iran, Spain, U.S. and France the hardest-hit countries outside China resulting in almost 13, 000 deaths with a little over 20, 000 people recoveries reported.
In Ghana, 27 cases have been reported with 2 deaths.