Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu is calling for the allocation of more funds to Ghana’s mission in China in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus to support emergency efforts. In a statement to Parliament, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Habib Tijani indicated that the equivalent of US$ 4,200 had been made available to the mission while government discusses the possibility of evacuating Ghanaians in that country.
But Haruna Iddrisu on the Floor of Parliament retorted that at least “a $100,000 emergency fund must be able to support the Ghanaian authorities in China. To come and say $4,200 [is not enough] Mr. Speaker.”
Meanwhile, the China chapter of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has called on the government to evacuate all Ghanaian students in China.
The Union expressed fears over the wellbeing of Ghanaian students in the country. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, reopening dates for most universities in China have been postponed indefinitely, leaving international students stranded. Several countries including the United States of America and Australia have evacuated their citizens from China. Kenya also plans to repatriate its 85 students who are stranded in China’s Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
The coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO) after the outbreak was discovered in China.
The first coronavirus case was first reported from Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019.In China alone, there are now more than 20,000 cases of the virus, with the death toll at over 400.
Outside China, there are more than 150 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with one death in the Philippines. Various countries have imposed travel restrictions to a varying degree like Singapore, US and Australia which are denying entry to all foreign visitors who have recently been to China.
Some countries are denying entry to foreigners travelling from mainland China whilst others are denying entry to foreigners who have visited Hubei province over the coronavirus fears.
The WHO declares a Public Health Emergency of International Concern when there is “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease.”
It had previously declared five global public health emergencies: the Swine flu in 2009, Polio in 2014, Zika in 2016 and Ebola, 2014 and 2019.