856 stranded Ghanaians arrive home

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has said 856 stranded Ghanaians abroad have arrived home.

856 stranded Ghanaians arrive home

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has said 856 stranded Ghanaians abroad have arrived home.

She said at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, 16 June 2020 that the government will gradually fly home all stranded Ghanaians abroad who wish to come home as various countries steadily ease their COVID-19 restrictions.

“So far, 856 Ghanaians have been brought home,” she said.

“The people in Dubai were part of those brought back and another group are on their way as we speak. They are people who were found loitering because of the circumstances of how they live. In such places as Dubai, many of them worked as artisans, maidservants, or domestic workers. They live in dormitories and work in hotels as well and once your employers lose their job, they kick you out and those in such countries were kicked out, so, they were living anyhow,” she disclosed.

The returnees are all in mandatory quarantine.

The minister also explained that the reason the quarantining costs so much is because only a few hotels are willing to host returnees.

“The cost is high because a lot of the hotels are not willing for their places to be used as quarantines. Even if a small hotel agrees, the hotels are small, so, you will have a hotel with five or four rooms, so, logistics will be a problem, security services will have to be put at these quarantines centres and that’s also a problem”.

“So, we are always looking for larger hotels to make it easier for us”, she explained, adding: “We are trying to find ways of cutting down hotel cost. It’s substantial; 600 a day for people who are stranded and may have used up all their monies.”

A few weeks ago, a notice from Ghana’s High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria, said stranded Ghanaians in Nigerian who desire to come back home will have to pay between $700 and $1,000 for a chartered flight.

“The cost per passenger ranges from $800 to $1,000 for a flight from Abuja to Accra and $700 to $900 from Lagos to Accra, all depending on the maximum number of (34) of passengers available,” the notice said.

The flight was scheduled to land in Accra on Tuesday, 2 June 2020.

Those interested were told to “kindly register your name by close of Sunday, 31 May 2020, to enable Mission to ascertain the exact cost of airfare”.

While home, the evacuees would also have to bear the cost of their 14-day quarantining in hotels.

It will cost GHS7,700 for a two-star, GHS8,400 for a three-star, GHS9,100 for a four-star and GHS9,800 for a five-star hotel.