The United Kingdom (UK) government, through its High Commission in Ghana, has carried out a repatriation exercise of its stranded citizens in Ghana amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The exercise, carried out last Friday at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra saw about 700 UK nationals sent home to be reunited with their families.
In an interview with journalists, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Iain Walker, disclosed that the exercise was targeted at tourists and short-term travelers since they are likely not to have access to long term accommodation and welfare provisions.
According to him, the exercise is being done not only in Ghana but across the world to get UK citizens who find themselves in distress situations safely home by the British government.
“We’re ensuring that the most vulnerable British travelers who want to return home from Ghana can do so. I understand some people will be disappointed not to have been able to secure a ticket. The UK government is working closely with airlines, the authorities and other governments to make sure options are available for citizens to return to the UK as soon as possible,” he said.
He hinted that even though passengers have gone through the process of testing for COVID-19 before departure, mandatory quarantine is part of the British government’s directives in curbing the further spread of the virus in the UK.
Mr. Walker also assured that his outfit, together with the Ghana government is making collaborative efforts to curbing the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana. “The British High Commission continues to work closely with the Ghanaian government to tackle the threat of COVID-19,” he said.
“Whether that is UK funding to support Ghanaian companies to produce Ghanaian made PPE or looking to utilize UK Foreign Direct Investment to build new hospitals, or supporting projects to enable millions of the school children stuck at home to continue learning, we are doing what we can to support our friend Ghana, during this difficult time,” he added.