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COVID-19: Ghana Disallows 30 Foreigners Entry Over Enforcement of Travel Ban   
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Ghana has so far disallowed 30 foreign nationals from entering the country as it enforces travel restrictions on people coming from countries with more than 200 confirmed cases of the COVID-19.

They include 24 Chinese, two Italians, two Australians, a German and a Nigerian.

Twenty-six of them were refused to disembark at the Kotoka International Airport while the remaining four were not allowed entry at the Aflao Border Post.

For instance, on Tuesday, March 17, the Aflao Border Post refused entry to a Nigerian and checks by the health authorities revealed that he had returned from Korea four days ago, while two Australians and one German were also refused entry at the same border post.

Mr Laud Ofori Affrifah, the Deputy Comptroller-General of Immigration in-charge of Operations and Command Posts, announced this at a news briefing in Accra on Wednesday, to provide update on enforcement of the travel advisory directive.

Government on Sunday, March 15, issued a travel advisory directive that people coming from countries with a record of 200 or more COVID-19 confirmed cases would not be allowed entry into Ghana.

Mr Ofori Affrifah said the Immigration Service started enforcing the travel advisory directive at exactly 1300 hours on Tuesday, March 17, and advised its controllers at the country’s 45 points of entry to enforce the ban strictly.

“We are only admitting foreigners who are coming back and have resident permit. Even with that, their details are being taken and shared with the Ghana Health Service response team,” he said.

The airline industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as passenger inflow into Ghana has drastically reduced.

Mr Ofori Affrifah said: “The British Airline that normally brings about 350 passengers into the country this time around brought only 140.”

“KLM that brings about 450 daily brought in 128; Air Portugal that brings 150 dropped to only 12 passengers; Kenyan Airways that brings 120 passengers daily brought 56; and the Emirates Airlines that brings 380 dropped to 174.”

“Today, the passenger inflow reduced especially Kenyan Airways, which brought in 26, Emirates 93, South African Airlines 36 and all these passengers are mostly Ghanaians. Then the Ethiopia Airlines brought in 128 as against 250.”

Mr Ofori Affrifah said the Abidjan Airport, Wednesday morning, was closed due to a tarmac problem therefore all flights were diverted to Ghana but those flights were refused landing at the Kotoka International Airport because of the travel restriction directive.

He said: “With One Ethiopia Airline that landed without permission, the passengers were not allowed to disembark and so they were refuelled to continue on their journey.”

“Today, there was an incident on South African flight. We do not know the status yet, but a Ghanaian female who complained of dizziness on arrival was referred to the health authorities.”

Mr Ofori Affrifah said the travel ban was in full force to prevent community spread of the virus and safeguard the lives of all Ghanaians.

Ghana has, so far, recorded seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 after testing 143 suspected cases.

The Government has earmarked $100 million for preparedness and response plan, which would be used for the construction of critical health facilities, procuring materials and supplies as well as for public education.
Source: GNA

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