Ghanaian students in China demand evacuation back home over outbreak of coronavirus

Source The Ghana Report/Sefanam Agbobli

Ghanaian students in the Chinese city of Wuhan have appealed to government to evacuate them following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Myjoyonline.com reports that President of the Wuhan Chapter of Ghanaian students, Samson Opoku, said the city has been completely locked down for eight days and as a result, people have run out of food supplies.

He wants the Ghanaian student community evacuated back home to Ghana until the virus has been completely brought under control.

“We are 151 students in the city now, and for us, we want evacuation back home to Ghana. When the outbreak subsides or ends then we return and continue our academic work.

“We don’t know how long this [coronavirus] is going to take. The number of cases and mortality rates increases each day so members are scared. We want to be evacuated back home,” he stressed.

Coronavirus spread

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.

The incubation period of the new coronavirus is thought to be between one and 14 days.

Meanwhile, National President of the Ghanaian Students in China, Felix Gyawu Addo, has said that Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Edward Boateng, is expected to meet the student leadership over the matter.

Mr Addo said some shops have been opened in the city to allow people to restock their groceries.

“And so that is the intervention now, and I believe that very soon they will be able to get these things [groceries] to the students who need them,” he told Joy News.

He also confirmed that so far no Ghanaian student has been diagnosed with the epidermic yet.

Meanwhile back home in Ghana, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has allayed fears of the presence of the deadly coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Ghana.

“So far no case recorded,” Director of Public Health at Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie, stated on Thursday as he emphasised that Ghana is making adequate preparations to tackle any outbreak.

Dr Sarkodie, who spoke in an interview with Joy FM last Thursday said the coronavirus is “close to Ghana as to any other country” hence adequate preparations to prevent any infections.

He said authorities have been engaging and actions have been taken in relation to surveillance, social mobilization, risk communication, case management, coordination and resource allocation.

Intensive screening has been instituted at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) for arrivals especially entries from China.

Interventions by other nations

China’s Northern neighbour, Mongolia has closed its borders to the country to cars and pedestrians in a bid to contain the virus, the CNN has reported.

More than 80 people have so far been killed by the coronavirus with over 3,000 people infected.

North Korea has also shut its borders to China to prevent any movements from China into the country.

Other governments including the Spanish government has announced plans to evacuate its citizens from China to prevent a spread of the virus.


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