Ghana is not prepared to evacuate its citizens from China now in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, made this known at a press briefing on Thursday, February 13, 2020, in Accra. He said the decision was in line with an advise from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Evacuation is not on the table for now,” he said, when told that the Minority National Democratic Congress in Parliament and some Ghanaians in China have called for evacuation. According to him, the structures and systems put in place in China are “protective,” describing evacuation as a national decision.
However, he stated that the Ministry of Health and the GHS would continue to observe the situation in China and if there is the need for evacuation a decision would be made in that direction. He noted that when there is the need to evacuate, GHS will advice accordingly. China has reportedly recorded about 60,000 cases of the virus, with the death toll above 1,350.
Director of Public Health, Dr. Badu Sarkodie, indicated systems have been put in place to ensure that everyone in Ghana is safe and ensure that persons coming into the country are well screened. According to him, in all heavy traffic areas like Elubo, Aflao, there are thermal scanners that screening people.
As part of awareness creation, he noted that there are a number of stakeholders engagements being held nationwide. He said GHS was partnering with hoteliers, traditional leaders and the various schools, churches and mosques in creating awareness. He recounted that some health facilities have been identified for case management.