Ghana: Let's Support Government Plans for Students in China

20 February 2020
editorial

Today, we return to the controversial issue of evacuating Ghanaian students in Wuhan city of China, who are caught up in the lockdown imposed on the city due to the outbreak of the corona virus disease.

The last time we touched on this subject, we were dealing with the request by parents of the students to government to evacuate them.

Since then, some civil society groups and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) have joined the debate, some in favour of evacuation and others cautioning against it.

But the government in the clearest term yet has said that it has no immediate plans of evacuating the students from China.

This is inspite of the fact that about 200 students at the epicentre of the outbreak have expressed their desire to be immediately returned home to save them from the anguish and psychological trauma over fear of contracting the disease.

However, the government says it has not received the green light from the National Technical Coordinating Committee set up to access the country's preparedness to handle a possible outbreak.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the committee had advised that the evacuation "should be taken only as a measure of last resort."

She emphasised that government would continue to safeguard the health, safety and well-being of students through the provision of food and other supplies.

The statement made by the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister should give some comfort to those who are clamouring for the immediate evacuation of the students.

Indeed, the families of the students including politicians and some members of the public should be rest assured that the government is doing everything in its power to provide for the well-being of the students.

The Ghanaian Times share in the anxiety of both parents and students because of the fear of the unknown but we are comforted by the advice given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) against mass evacuation of citizens.

Thankfully, none of the students has the disease and, if we go strictly according to the safety regulations, they might not contract the disease.

What is important and necessary now is the cooperation of everybody to ensure that the measures taken by the government yields result.

We have heard that a group of parents have threatened legal action against the government if it failed to bring their children home.

We urge restraint as government has shown that it is truly working with the students in Wuhan to ensure their safety.

What is more, cartons of assorted Ghanaian food items had been dispatched to China and the Ghana Mission in China has been responding to the concerns of the students.

The government has shown a lot of goodwill and it is only fair for us to support it to deal with the situation in the best manner.

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