Ghana’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Charles Owiredu, says government is yet to come to a final resolution on whether to repatriate Ghanaian citizens stranded abroad.
As part of efforts by government to prevent the importation of COVID–19, Ghana’s borders have been closed since March with the current Executive Instrument backing the directive expected to elapse on May 31, 2020.
Other countries globally have also taken similar measures to prevent the importation of the virus.
According to the Deputy Minister, the large number of citizens stuck abroad due to the closure of borders will make it impossible for government to repatriate all of them into the country at once.
He disclosed that government has grouped citizens stranded abroad into three; the returnees from Kuwait, Ghanaians who travelled abroad on official government business and Ghanaians who traveled abroad for their personal business.
On Saturday, May 23, 2020, however, over 200 Ghanaians stranded in Kuwait returned to the country and will be kept in mandatory quarantine.
“They’ve been grouped into cohorts. The first group is the Kuwaitis; these are the Ghanaians living in Kuwait. The second group is Ghanaians who traveled on behalf of Government and the third group is made up of people who went on their own and find themselves in such a situation because we’ve closed the border. So the first group is the ones that a decision was taken on by Government to allow them to come in” he said.
Meanwhile there have been calls from the Minority in Parliament asking the Government to evacuate Ghanaian citizens stuck abroad under strict supervision.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said other countries such as India and South Africa have evacuated its citizens stuck abroad and it will be only prudent for Ghana to as well evacuate its citizens.
He observed that “just as the government is able to open our airports despite the closure for foreign nationals to be evacuated out of Ghana, Government should do same by providing a narrow opportunity under strict evacuation protocols of screening, testing, and quarantining where necessary in order ensure and safeguard the lives of Ghanaians abroad”