The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has evacuated about 9,000 Ghanaians and resident permit holders from around the world stranded abroad as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The evacuees were brought home in the exercise, which commenced on May 23, 2020, after the closure of the country’s borders in an effort to contain the pandemic following the outbreak of the virus.
A statement by the ministry last Friday said the evacuees were brought in from Benin, Burkina Faso, China, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Kenya, Kuwait, Mali, Oman, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, The Gambia, Togo, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA).
It said a number of mop-up flights had been arranged to facilitate onward travel to Ghana through major transit hubs.
International flight restriction in Ghana was removed following the August 30, 2020 address to the nation by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in which he announced the opening of the Kotoka International Airport to commercial flights starting from Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
“To address cases of Ghanaians in distress, the government-assisted and covered the cost of travel and quarantine of a number of Ghanaians, in particular those arriving from China, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and UAE, and all the evacuations undertaken within the West Africa region, including all students who arrived during the period,” the statement said.
“In so doing, the ministry received financial support from well-meaning Ghanaians, and will like to mention in this regard the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Agyapong, who made a personal donation of US$200,000, and raised an additional amount of US$228,650 from his friends and associates totalling US$428,650 towards the evacuation of Ghanaians from Lebanon, and also the Sethi Brothers who donated GH¢200,001 to defray the cost of quarantine for passengers arriving from the United Kingdom.”
The statement advised the public to continue to observe the relevant protocols to contain the virus, and to strictly adhere to global travel rules and regulations prior to travelling out of Ghana and to register with Ghana Missions abroad wherever their final destinations might be.