Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Baffour Adjei Bawuah has disclosed that 33 Ghanaians have died from COVID-19 in that country.
“Quite a number of Ghanaians have been affected and indeed we have 33 people who have been verified to have died from the disease in New York alone,” he said.
He further disclosed that about 300 Ghanaians who are stranded in the US have requested for assistance to return home.
Among the category of those he said had registered with the embassy for a possible evacuation, are Ghanaian government officials who were on official assignments in the US before the closure of the country’s borders.
He said some Ghanaians on government scholarships in the US are also included in the list.
“At the moment, about 300 people [Ghanaians] have expressed a situation where they believe that they are stranded and therefore want to come back home and…we are liaising with the US government particularly in connection with some [Ghanaian] students and some officials who came here and are stranded.”
“The students, in particular, are now living with host families and that has put a bit of pressure on these families but we are reasonably certain that by the end of this week, we would have been able to relay to the US government enough [information] for those people to be brought home,” he in an interview with Accra-based GHOne TV on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.
In a separate interview on the same station, Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Ayisi Boateng also disclosed that 200 Ghanaians have also registered with the Ghana mission to be airlifted back home.
“We had a circular from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration that we should look for Ghanaians who are stranded so I sent the letters out and we had a little over 200 people registering to come back home which we have submitted to the Ministry for further directions and we are waiting for further directives on that,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Government is yet to decide on whether all Ghanaians abroad will be brought back home amid the COVID-19 induced border closure.
“We don’t have a decision to bring in all Ghanaians”, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu noted during a press briefing on Tuesday morning.
He, however, explained that government may treat the repatriation of Ghanaians stranded abroad in phases.
“The government cannot make a decision saying all of these people should come in at the same time. It is going to be very chaotic if you look at the numbers… So the decision was taken that let’s start with those from Kuwait.”