The Ghanaian Times today reported that so far 1,089 foreign nationals who entered Ghana through unapproved routes have been intercepted and repatriated by the Ghana Immigration Service in the Bono Region.
The foreigners, made up of 240 Burkinabes, 506 Togolese, 224 Ivorians, 50 Guineans, 30 Nigeriens, 30 Nigerians and nine Malians, were arrested between March 31 and the second week of May this year.
Among this number was the Bono Region’s first COVID-19 case recorded on March 20, 2020.
This clearly shows that illegal border-crossing during the pandemic increased the risk of importing COVID-19 cases into the country and therefore the foreign nationals, who are mostly farm hands entering the country despite the border closure through illegal routes, must be stopped.
Most of these foreigners, our reporter says, are able to enter the country through the support of their Ghanaian counterparts resident at the border who aid them with the use of motorbikes and bicycles.
In addition, some drivers along the border towns pick the foreigners in defiance of the border closure directive ordered by the government.
We are concerned that both residents and drivers living along border towns are engaged in these nefarious activities and thus putting everybody at risk.
It is for good reason that the order was made to close our borders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which the entire world is battling at the moment although there is a ban on border-crossing in place.
Ghana is not alone in this battle. In addition to several measures, almost all countries have closed their land, air and sea borders in order to contain the disease.
There is no reason, therefore, for anyone to flout the directive and smuggle people into the country to put everyone in danger.
We would appeal to the government as well as the security agencies to tighten security at border-crossings so that those who engage in such criminal activities are arrested and prosecuted.
We must not allow few self-seeking individuals to flout the law and take advantage of the situation to enrich themselves while putting the rest of the people in danger.
Everyone has to be vigilant at this time and report those who engage in the illegal border-crossing to security agencies for them to pay the price for disobeying the COVID-19 directive.
Let’s get tough with these law breakers because that is the only way we can police our borders and contain the spread of the virus.