SoNA Update: Politicising Coronavirus crisis unhelpful; “we’ll evacuate students if necessary”

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians students trapped at the epicenter of China’s Coronavirus outbreak that they would be evacuated back home if need be.

There are over 4,000 Ghanaian students in China on the Asian government’s scholarship programmes.

The Ghanaian students at Wuhan in the Hubei Province, have been hemmed in by the outbreak while their parents and the Minority in Parliament, back home, clamour for their evacuation back home.

Delivering his fourth State of the Nation address to Parliament on Thursday, however, President Akufo-Addo said: “We have a delicate situation on our hands Mr Speaker and it does not benefit anybody to try to score points by introducing ill-judged politics into this ongoing medical conundrum and humanitarian tragedy”.

“Most of these students”, the President said, “Are on Chinese government scholarships and since the crisis started, the Chinese government has done its best to keep them supplied with food and other logistics”.

“The Ghana government”, he reported, “Through its mission, also supplies logistics and the embassy has given, so far, US$500 to each student”.

However, the President note, “We know that no amount of logistics will make up for the extreme stress and trauma that these young people are going through and I entreat members of this honourable house to set an example by helping to pour oil over troubled waters instead of instigating tension and spreading fear and panic among the young people”.

“The government is in constant touch with experts on the subject who advise that the basic principle of public health is to confine the disease to the area of origin but we have not ruled out the option of evacuation of the students in Wuhan if that becomes necessary.

“We have put in place measures to ensure that their evacuation back in Ghana, if it happens, does not lead to the dissemination of fear and panic among the general public”, the President said.

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