Ghanaian parents whose children remain trapped in Coronavirus outbreak in China insist the government must fly the students back home.
The angry parents, who held a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, 18 February 2020, even say they are ready to foot the bill for the flight if the government does not have the financial resources to do so.
One of the parents, Mr Nhyira Agyapong, a lawyer, whose daughter and nephew are studying in China, told Joshua Kodjo Mensah on Class91.3FM’s 505 news programme on Tuesday: “For how long can these students be in their rooms? At some point – after two, three months – they’ll break down”.
Mr Agyapong said: “Now, the hospitals are not even safe so that even with a minor sickness, you can go there because now, whatever sickness that sends you to the hospital, it would be seen as being infected and you can see the consequence.
“So, that’s why we, as parents, are saying that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should take steps and bring the children back home. If it is about the expenses involved, we, the parents, are ready to bear those expenses”, he said.
Mr Agyapong also said he was “disappointed” with the Minister of Health, Kweku Agyemang-Manu, for talking about how the government has provided food items to the Ghanaian students in China, including gari and shito, wondering: “Is that what they need?”
The Ghana Mission in China, on Tuesday, 18 February 2020 disbursed USD500 into the bank accounts of each Ghanaian student residing in the Hubei Province of China, one of the hardest hit areas of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The total sum of USD170,500 was disbursed on the directives of the government of Ghana to aid Ghanaian students living in the Province to procure essential items for their survival in the interim while awaiting a possible evacuation, according to a statement issued by NUGS-China.
In a recent meeting between the NEC, Hubei executives, and embassy officials led by ambassador Edward Boateng, the leadership of NUGS-China were assured that the remainder of the USD250,000, after the initial disbursement of USD170,500, would be kept in a fund at the embassy.
The executives from Wuhan and Shiyan also acknowledged receipts of 1,400 pieces of nose masks from the Ghana mission (1,000 pieces to Wuhan; 400 pieces to Shiyan) at the same meeting.
The leadership of the union also requested the government of Ghana, through the mission, to remember the plight of the remaining chapters outside of Hubei Province by supplying them with medical items and more logistics.
In an earlier meeting between the NEC and the Wuhan chapter executives and campus representatives held on Sunday, 16 February 2020, it was established that although Ghanaians are safe and some schools are providing daily nose masks and free three-square meals for students on campus, the primary challenge of immobility around campus, and the higher risk of infection coupled with some few cases of water shortage in some schools, are a primary concern among members, necessitating an immediate evacuation before anyone gets infected.
Meanwhile, China, on Tuesday, 18 February recorded over 2,000 new infections with 142 new deaths.