Ghana to clinically confirm whether the 241 deportees are indeed negative for COVID-19—Joseph Kofi Adda
The Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda has reiterated government’s commitment in safeguarding the citizenry from Ghanaian deportees who arrived in the country on Saturday from Kuwait.
He stated that government would re-run test on all the 241 deportees to ensure the safety of the citizenry.
According to him, prior to their arrival, they were tested for COVID-19 in Kuwait and confirmed negative but would be tested again in Ghana to ensure public safety.
In an interview with the media, Mr Adda explained that health officials in the country have already taken samples of the deportees for independent testing.
“With where we have gotten so far, the test is generally negative, but our internal medical experts will conduct another round of test to be sure that they are truly negative,” he stated.
The government granted permission for the deportation of 245 Ghanaians illegally residing in Kuwait, a country in Western Asia.
The deportees arrived on Saturday in spite of the closure of Ghana’s borders as part of measures to control importation of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who made the announcement at a news conference in Accra on Friday said the deportees were conveyed via a chartered flight at the cost of the Kuwaiti government.
He indicated that the move did not in any way reverse government’s decision on international air travels saying, “we are still analysing the data on the number of Ghanaians who are stranded outside and we will treat them on a cohort by cohort basis should there be a need to evacuate them, provided it posed no risk to the Ghanaian public.”
So far, the number of Ghanaians who had given the ministry information on their status, Mr Nkrumah said were in their thousands and scattered across the globe “but we have not made any firm decision on evacuating them yet.”
Mr Nkrumah indicated that in line with standard protocol, all 245 expatriates would be mandatorily quarantined and tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.
According to him, the National Security in collaboration with the Military, Ghana Immigration and Police Services have been directed to enforce the mandatory quarantine while officials of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have been detailed to conduct testing and treatment.
“Deportees who test positive will be supported with treatment. Those who test negative will remain in quarantine for a second test at the end of the 14-day quarantine period,” the minister said.
The cost of quarantine and treatment, he Minister noted, would be borne by government.
Mr Nkrumah posited that, the deportees would be received and handled in line with immigration regulations to ascertain circumstances under which they stayed in Kuwait illegally.
“They will be in the custody of the state for preliminary investigations on the circumstances of their illegal stay in Kuwait. Upon completion of the investigations, a case by case determination will be made on their status and further handling of each deportee in accordance with law,” he added.
Mr Nkrumah thereby assured the public that all measures to ensure the health of the general population and the gains of the COVID-19 response programme were being upheld and taken into consideration by government.
BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE