General News of Friday, 21 February 2020
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed the sympathies and well wishes of his government and Ghanaians to the Chinese government over the outbreak of Coronavirus, which claimed over 1,800 lives with more than 60,000 people infected.
“Today, China is battling the outbreak of deadly COVID-19 and we sympathize with the good people of China this time of great trouble.
“I have written to President Xi Jinping to convey to the good people of China the solidarity and sympathy of the compassionate people of Ghana.
“We trust that the tough decisions being implemented to contain the spread of the virus, this nightmare will be over soon and they will recover from this devastating act of economic and social impact,” the President said.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo conveyed the message when delivering the State-of-the-Nation Address to Parliament in Accra on Thursday.
He said there was a sizeable Ghanaian Community in China therefore the Government was working with the Chinese authorities to find the best solution to deal with the situation.
Currently, there are 4,762 Ghanaian students out of which 300 are studying in the Hubei Province and 200 in the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
The President said most of those students were on Chinese government scholarships and since the crisis started government of Ghana had given $500 to each student, while the Chinese authorities had supplied them with food and logistics.
“We have a delicate situation on our hands Mr Speaker, and it does not benefit anybody to try to score points by introducing ill-judged politics into this ongoing medical conundrum and humanitarian tragedy.
“I expect the members of this honourable house to set an example by helping to clear all the troubling waters and stop spreading fear and panic among the young people,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He said the government was in constant touch with experts on the matter who were providing basic principles on public health to circumvent the disease from the area of origin and has not ruled out the option of evacuating the students in Wuhan if it becomes necessary.
The President acknowledged the various support Ghana had received from China including; the Sinohydro Master Plan Agreement to support the country’s infrastructural development.
The presentation of SONA is in compliance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament, which stipulates that the “President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before the dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a message on the State of the Nation”.