Chinese Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Shi Ting Wang has said that it will be safe for Ghanaians studying in China especially in Wuhan city and Hubei province to stay there at the moment.
According to the Ambassador, the Chinese government will ensure that they have sufficient food, drinking water, and other logistical support and will also provide excellent medical service if necessary. He added that the safest choice for foreigners was to stay in China and abide by the COVID-19 prevention measures of the Chinese government because the long-distance international travel increases the risks of COVID-19 virus infection.
Speaking at a press briefing held in Accra, H.E. Shi Ting Wang said “We understand their concerns. It’s normal and intelligible for those Ghanaian students in Wuhan and their parents to request for evacuation. However, the facts have demonstrated that it’s the safest choice for foreigners to stay in China and abide by the COVID-19 prevention measures of the Chinese government because the long-distance international travel will highly increase the risks of COVID-19 virus infection. For instance, the US and other countries have not only evacuated their nationals back home but also brought COVID-19 virus back to their home countries, which will undoubtedly threaten the health and safety of their families and friends and spread the epidemic worldwide.”
“It’s safe for Ghanaian students to stay in China at present. The Chinese government will ensure that they have sufficient food, drinking water, and other logistic support. We will also provide excellent medical service if necessary,” he added.
He however, debunked rumors that Ghanaian students in Hubei province and Wuhan city are starving with no food and water.
Amb. Ting Wang assured parents of children studying in China of the safety of their children and said, “the Chinese government has pledged to provide a continuous supply of necessities to foreign students in Wuhan city and Hubei province. The provision of necessities is sufficient. As far as I learn, each and every university in Wuhan has set up a special working team to take care of the foreign students, including Ghanaian students. University supermarkets have adequate supplies for food and necessities. Foreign students can buy food whenever they need it in the supermarket online. The universities distribute free three meals a day in addition to free masks, thermometers, disinfectants, and other materials to foreign students and also help foreign students to buy daily necessities.”
The head of the Chinese mission in Ghana commended the Ghanaian government and Ghana’s Missions in China for their remarkable efforts and actions in this medical emergency.
He stated, “would also like to take the opportunity to say that the Government of Ghana, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and your Embassy in China have also done a commendable job in terms of assisting Ghanaian students in China. Your government has sent money and food and others to the students and your Embassy has kept a close eye on the students and linking up with relevant authority in China to make sure everyone is safe and sound.”
In the last weeks, government has come under intense criticism for deciding not to evacuate students in lockdown Wuhan and Hubei province to Ghana. The minority caucus in Ghana’s parliament has insisted on evacuation and gave government a three day ultimatum to evacuate students from Wuhan. The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) in China has also maintained its calls for evacuation in addition to other new pressures from parents of students in China.
However, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday; 20th February 2020 stated that eventhough evacuation has not been ruled out, the Government of Ghana will evacuate students from Wuhan in China if it becomes necessary due to expert advice. President Akufo – Addo stated, “ The government is in constant touch with experts on the subject who have advised that the basic principle of public health is to confine the disease to the area of origin but we have not ruled out the option of evacuating the students from Wuhan if that becomes necessary.”
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