14th July 2024

Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah

Two Italians who arrived onboard Air France flight, which landed at Kotoka International Airport on Monday, were prevented from entering the country and accordingly repatriated to their home country.

That was in compliance with the government’s travel advisories and restriction, as part of measures to combat the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

Ghana has placed a travel ban on countries that have recorded at least 200 cases of the deadly virus. Italy is one of the countries severely hit by the virus. At the time of filing this story yesterday, the situation in Italy was 27,980 confirmed cases, 2,158 deaths and 2,749 recoveries.

Speaking at a training-of-trainers workshop for regional information officers, held in Accra yesterday, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said: “Last night, I think, there were two Italians who were coming from the epicenter and as we got the confirmation of the details, even though the aircraft was in the air, we had to make arrangements at the airport to ensure they do not get off the aircraft and they have been returned to their original destination.”

The Minister maintained that travelers from the affected countries, other than Ghanaian citizens, will not be allowed in the Ghanaian jurisdiction.

Restrictions

Last Sunday, the government imposed a travel ban on countries that have recorded at least 200 confirmed cases of the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19).

The ban followed the confirmation of six cases of the disease in the country.

Apart from the travel restrictions, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo further placed a ban on all public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, church activities and other related events for the next four weeks as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.

He, however, said private burials for the dead are allowed, but should just be for a few people not exceeding 25.

The President also directed all schools to shut down until further notice. All the affected institutions have since complied.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication, has been tasked to roll out distance learning programmes.

Candidates for the impending Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) are, however, allowed to attend school to prepare for their examinations, “but with prescribed social distancing protocols,” according to the President.

Parliament’s support

In a related development, President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday met with the leadership of Parliament to discuss wide-ranging issues bordering on the pandemic.

In attendance were the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye; First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei-Wusu; Second Deputy Speaker, Alban Bagbin; Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensa Bonsu; and Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu,

President Akufo-Addo described the pandemic as a medical crisis that is bringing in its wake deaths and economic difficulties, adding that it is spreading fear and panic throughout the world.

He urged the leadership of Parliament to support the Executive, as the Attorney-General prepares to submit to the House emergency legislation to govern the measures announced.

The President assured that government is determined to do whatever is necessary, including providing the requisite resources, to ensure the safety of the population.

On behalf of leadership, Professor Mike Oquaye assured the President and the Executive of the support of Parliament in passing into law the legislation to be laid before the House, in dealing with the pandemic. The Speaker was supported in his statement by both the Majority and Minority leaders.

The Speaker added that Members of Parliament will also assist with the effective dissemination of the “dos and don’ts” of the disease, as approved by the Ghana Health Service.

Source: Daily Statesman

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