CORONAVIRUS; GHANA MEDIA SHOULD STOP CAUSING FEAR AND PANIC
The Government of Ghana must first be commended for the compassion showed toward the citizens of Ghana living in China, precisely Wuhan where the coronavirus epidemic is highest, through the donation of about thirty thousand (30,000) Chinese Yuan toward their welfare. This is in line with the president’s firm belief in education and his commitment to be president of all Ghanaians throughout the world. This is among various indications that no Ghanaian citizen is being left out in Akufo Addo’s all-inclusive Government. Notwithstanding, Ghana’s Ambassador to China should be highly rebuked for their consideration of only Ghanaian students in Wuhan for this duty-bound benevolence by the Office of the President of Ghana.
Wuhan, a city in Hubei Province is where the first case of the new deadly coronavirus was detected. Actually, there are approximately five hundred and twenty (520) Ghanaians living in Wuhan with four hundred (400) of them as students and the rest as workers as of January 2020. These statistics, therefore, prove the existence of others aside Ghanaian students in Wuhan, and as a result, makes it appalling and wrong for the exclusion of non-students during the share of the donation from the President. I was of the view; the helping hand should have been extended to all Ghanaian residents in Wuhan.
Furthermore, there has been evidence of frantic creation of fear and panic by the media fraternity in Ghana from a very exaggerated point of view of the happenings in China with regards to the coronavirus outbreak and how Ghanaians are faring amidst the epidemic. Some of such informations being circulated by the media includes Ghanaians in China living in danger, having no access to food and flight, and with most of them detained/quarantined. I think all this information is going about as a result of the failure of some media houses to verify the informations from the right sources before putting them in the public domain. A development which is worrying considering the press freedom we have and where we have reached as a nation. These are all lies that must be completely disregarded by the public. In fact, Ghanaians in China are safe and are not being ill-treated in the nation, actually, the Chinese Government has and is only doing the rights and ensuring that every safety measure is taken to safeguard the life of every soul in the nation.
The truth of the matter is that the universities in China provide services for any foreign student who wants to buy food, medicine or even wants to go home with Ghanaian students inclusive. Precisely, there are six thousand (6000) Ghanaian students in China as of the beginning of this academic year.
Moreover, it would be highly out of order and very unsecured for the Government of Ghana to evacuate all Ghanaians in China to Ghana because it takes fourteen (14) days for the coronavirus to be detected in a patient or victim, meaning lots with it can be undetected at the points of screening in Ghana, and may, as a result, bring about an epidemic in the country. In addition, Ghana currently has fragile health facilities and inadequate expertise, know-how, and resources to contain, tackle and manage the virus even if one is detected, and more so if the evacuation brings about an epidemic. When this happens the pressure on hospitals will be unbearable and I appreciate what the president of Ghana has done by acting decisively on this matter.
According to the National Health Commission of China; as of the end of the first three weeks (3) of the outbreak from the second week of January 2020 to the first week of February 2020, there has been 186,354 under medical watch with 28,018 confirmed, 1,153 cured and 564 dead. Note, careful consideration of the entire statistics especially the number cured against the number of death, it clearly shows that the Chinese Government is gradually gaining control over the epidemic and are better placed to contain and tackle the epidemic than Ghana. Also, this is not the first of such epidemics in China, there were that of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, the Swine Flu in 2009 and others which the nation successfully controlled.
As it stands now, if there is any measure the Government of Ghana wishes to put in place to help Ghanaians in China with respect to this epidemic then the nation should continue to send money to the Ghanaians in China, and it should be made sure to include every Ghanaian, not only the students. The nation through the Ghanaian embassy in China should put in place emergency measures that can help keep track of the wellbeing of every single Ghanaian living in China. Parents and the entire Ghanaian citizens in Ghana and around the world can also support such efforts of Government by sending their relatives and loved ones in China money to help supplement their income.
By Nana Moses II