Edward Boateng, Ghana’s Ambassador to China, has reassured Ghanaians, particularly, students living in China that the mission is doing all within its means to ensure their safety despite the dire situation they find themselves following the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
The Ambassador, speaking to ABC News, noted, the Embassy in China, recognising the seriousness of the outbreak, especially areas where the coronavirus first broke out, Hubei Province, is taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all Ghanaians, particularly, the students in China.
In the past few weeks, some Ghanaian students in China have pleaded with the government to evacuate them back to Ghana after most towns were put under lockdown, restricting movements and halting academic work.
They complain that the situation in Hubei Province, where most of the students are, is getting out of hands as the number of infected cases keep rising.
The Minority in Parliament has also impressed on the government to follow the World Health Organisation protocols and bring back the students they claim are stranded in China. They have given the government a 3-day ultimatum to undertake this exercise or face their wrath.
However, in an exclusive interview with ABC News, Edward Boateng mentioned, among other things, that the Embassy holds a meeting with the executives of the Ghanaian students in China every 48 hours to exchange updates on the unfolding situation.
In addition, the Ambassador stated that himself and other officials of Ghana’s mission are on several platforms with the students and Ghanaians living in China where realtime information is exchanged and safety precautions discussed to ensure everyone’s safety.
“Apart from the Ghanaian students, there are other Ghanaians in Wuhan and its environs. The mission is in touch with them. We hold constant meetings with the Ghanaian community through their representatives and with the students as well. For instance, we hold meetings with the national executive committee of nugs china, executives of Wuhan chapter of nugs and executives of all other NUGS chapters located in Hubei province such as Yichang every 48 hours to update on efforts, progress and wellbeing of all Ghanaians. In addition, officials of the embassy including the ambassador are on some of the instant messaging platforms of the students to get real-time information on the wellbeing of our beloved students and Ghanaians,” Ghana’s Ambassador to China said to ABC News.
He added, “I would want to assure parents, family, loved ones and friends of Ghanaians in Hubei province and particularly in Wuhan as well as the entire Ghanaian population in China that even though the situation dire, the Ghana Embassy is working with the students and the Ghanaian community to ensure that we stay safe and adhere to safety and precautionary measures.”
To limit the spread of the deadly virus, which has claimed more than 1000 lives and infected more close to 10, 000 persons in China alone, the Ambassador disclosed to ABC News that the staff have been directed to work from home.
Despite this measure to protect staff and Ghanaians, the Embassy has set up hotlines that work 24 hours, 7 days a week, through which Ghanaians can reach the mission and receive assistance when necessary, the Ambassador indicated.
“For now, the embassy has instituted a work from home policy with the view of avoiding personal contact and has also provided 24 hours hotlines for the Ghanaian community and students,” he explained.