Coronavirus: Ghanaian lives matter – Ghana’s Ambassador to China
Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Edward A. Boateng, has called for calm as he engages the Chinese authorities and other stakeholders towards safeguarding the well-being of Ghanaians in China.
This comes in the wake of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in China which has claimed 80 lives.
Some estimated 3,000 are infected with some 6000 suspected cases as data shows 750 fresh infections as of Monday.
Cities including Wuhan where the disease has been traced to a seafood market and Hubei are on shut down with some Ghanaians students complaining of depleting food supplies.
Mr Boateng said in a statement that the Ghanaian authorities in China are engaging “Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss how we manage the ongoing situation”.
He added that: “We at the Ghana Embassy, Beijing, take the well-being of all Ghanaians seriously and are monitoring the situation”.
Ghanaian students in Wuhan have already called on the Ghana government to evacuate them amidst worsening situation as China grapples with the latest public health risk.
At least 44 cases have been confirmed outside China – Eight in Thailand, Five in USA and Australia, Four in Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and South Korea, three in France and Japan, two in Vietnam and one in Nepal, Canada and Cambodia.
Some neighbouring countries including Mongolia and North Korea have shut their bodies while the US, Japan, Australia, France, Sri Lanka and Germany have advanced plans to evacuate citizens.
Ghana Health Service says ‘keep calm, no coronavirus in Ghana’
Back in Ghana, Director of Public Health at Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie said the coronavirus is “close to Ghana as to any other country” hence adequate preparations to prevent any infections.
These include an intensive screening of travellers, especially from China at the country’s main Kotoka International Airport.
Kotoka International Airport to screen passengers from China as deadly coronavirus spreads
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
They circulate in animals and some can be transmitted between animals and humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
Some common signs of the infection include fever, coughing and difficulties in breathing.
In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, SARS, kidney failure and even death.
Below is the full statement from Ghana’s Ambassador to China:
UPDATES FROM THE AMBASSADOR OF GHANA ON THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN CHINA
I wish to bring to your notice that on Monday, 27th January 2020 an emergency meeting will be held with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss how we manage the ongoing situation. The African Diplomatic Corps will also meet with the World Health Organization to deliberate on the necessary protocols needed to be taken with regards to the over 4600 African students in Wuhan and ultimately, all Africans at the epicentre of the virus in Wuhan
Also, the Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has been made aware of developments with regards to the spread of the virus and contingency plans are under discussion.
I want to reiterate however the need for all not to panic, rather be each other’s keeper and do well to take all the prescribed precautions and also take the flu shot once movement restrictions are relaxed or lifted.
Furthermore, we have reached out to the International Migration Organization and other organizations to see how best to address the issue at hand.
I would once again want to entreat all, to adhere to the health and safety protocols and to make it a point to follow the news updates on the coronavirus on CCTV News, BBC, CNN and CGTN. Do not take information from unapproved social media sources. Also, contact your doctor or known medical personnel if you have any medical worries.
This is indeed a tough time for all but we are a strong and determined people and together we shall get through it all
We at the Ghana Embassy, Beijing, take the well-being of all Ghanaians seriously and are monitoring the situation.
Edward A. Boateng