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Ghana to receive 245 deportees from Kuwait despite border closure

The Government of Ghana says it will allow the Government of Kuwait to bring in 245 Ghanaians illegally staying in that country.

This is in spite of the closure of the country’s borders. As part of measures to stop the further importation of COVID-19 into Ghana, President Nana Akufo-Addo directed for the closure of the country’s borders effect March 22, 2020.

The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who made the announcement at a special press briefing on Friday, May 22, 2020 said the government is granting the special permit based on a request by the Kuwaiti Government.

He said the 245 deportees are expected to arrive in the country on Saturday, May 23, 2020.

The Information Minister said the Government of Kuwait will bear the cost for the returnees who will be arriving on Chartered flight.

“The Government of Kuwait has informed the Government of Ghana of an intention to deport some 245 Ghanaians who are currently in Kuwait illegally. The Government of Kuwait has further requested permission from the Government of Ghana to bring these persons into the Ghanaian jurisdiction on Saturday 23rd May 2020. The Government of Ghana has subsequently granted a special permit for the admission of the said deportees to Ghana. This deportation is to be executed via a special charter flight arrangement at the cost of the Kuwaiti Government,” the Minister said.

Deportees to be quarantined, tested

According to Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, all 245 persons will be mandatorily quarantined and tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in the country.

He said the government of Ghana will take care of the cost of quarantine of the deportees and also the treatment of those who may test positive for COVID-19.

The Minister noted that the National Security, Military, Immigration Service, and Police will ensure that the mandatory quarantine is adequately enforced.

“The deportees will be mandatorily quarantined and tested for COVID-19 immediately upon arrival into Ghana. Deportees who test negative will remain in quarantine for a second test at the end of the 14-day quarantine period…The deportees will generally be received and handled line with the immigration regulations for all deportees… They will be in the custody of the State for a preliminary investigation for the circumstances of their illegal stay in Kuwait. It is upon completion of this investigation that a case by case determination will be made on the status and further handling of each deportee in accordance with Ghana’s laws,” Kojo Oppong Nkrumah added.

He further indicated that the government will ensure that the gains from the COVID-19 fight are not eroded by the development.

The Minister said the cost of quarantine and treatment will be borne by the Government of Ghana.

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