COVID-19: We can’t afford to fly you back home – Tourism Minister tells ‘stranded’ Pappy Kojo

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Minister of Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi has told Ghanaian rapper, Pappy Kojo that the State cannot afford to bring him back home from Italy.

The rapper who is currently in the European country has sent a distress message for the country to marshall forces and repatriate him from the hardest-hit coronavirus country.

Italy, has since the virus broke out last year, overtaken China in the number of deaths to the viral outbreak.

So far, Italy has reported 63,000 cases with 6,000 casualties.

With a burning desire to flee Italy and head back home to safety as the deaths continue to rise, the rapper in an emotional interview on Accra-based 3FM called for the evacuation of Ghanaians in that country.
“ I’m not safe, I live just across a busy street and people keep using that road every minute which is not safe for me, I’ve been calling out to the government [President Akufo-Addo and his ministers] yet no response, I’m a Ghanaian and I’ve done a lot for this country in terms of creative arts. The Ghanaian Embassy in Italy recently reached out to inform me about the death of some two Ghanaians residing in Italy which I told them I’ve heard the news. Sincerely I’m not safe, I have something to feed on now but I’m afraid I might soon run out of food.” Pappy Kojo told 3FM’s MzGee via Skype on Monday, March 23, 2020.

Speaking on the same show, however, the Tourism Minister, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, said although she sympathizes with the rapper, government’s hands are tied so his request cannot be granted.

“Currently, traveling is out of the question. We’re not encouraging people to come to Ghana,” she said. “Ghanaians can return home but if you’re in a country which is locked down and you don’t have a flight coming in, then how do you travel? Does he want to be jetted back to Ghana? How is that possible? We cannot arrange a jet to bring an individual back. We’re trying to contain a situation and the directive is that for countries that have recorded over 200 cases, we are not allowing people from those countries into Ghana because we are also trying to contain the situation here. And I believe that wherever he finds himself if he follows the guidelines from the protocols, he will be safe,” she added.



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