At least 1,100 Ghanaians living in foreign lands have been evacuated into the country in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Of the number, 230 were flown in from Kuwait, 77 from Nigeria, 41 being students who were on an exchange programme in Washington DC, United States of America (USA), 154 from Dubai and 141 students in Benin who arrived in the country via Intercity STC buses.
The rest are Egypt, 3; South Africa, 5; Israel, 45; 14 mine workers from Burkina Faso and China, 25.
Taking her turn at the COVID-19 press briefing in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said the Ghanaians were brought into the country between May and early part of this month.
She said a further 250 stranded Ghanaians were expected in the country yesterday from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
An additional 400, she noted, would arrive in the country today and June 21 from China while 196 Ghanaians were in line to be evacuated to the country on June 19 from Lebanon.
Some others from China and New York and Washington, both in the USA, would arrive at the country’s shores by the end of this month, she added.
The Minister however noted that the processes of evacuating Ghanaians from the diaspora into the country have been impeded by high cost of hotels to accommodate the arriving party who are to undergo mandatory quarantine.
Additionally, difficulty in the categorisation of persons considered as destitute has derailed the process, Madam Botchwey added.
She assured Ghanaians in the diaspora of the government’s commitment to liaise with its counterparts in other countries to ensure all stranded were brought home to safety.
Owing to the global spread of COVID-19, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a bid to protect the country from the disease and reduce infection rate directed the closure of all Ghana’s borders on March 22 this year.
The directive, which is still in force, however, does not apply to goods, supplies and cargo.
BY FRANCIS NTOW