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Immigration Service rejects 31 travellers from coronavirus-hit countries

The Ghana Immigration Service says it has returned incoming flights from other countries at the Kotoka International Airport as part of measures to prevent the importation of cases of the novel coronavirus.

According to the Deputy Comptroller of Immigration (DCGI) in-charge of Command Post and Operations, Laud Kwesi Affrifah, two Italians travelling on Air France were refused entry into Ghana on Air France on Monday while 24 Chinese and 1 German National were also subjected to same on Tuesday.

Government on March 16, 2019, announced a travel advisory which discouraged all travels to the country until further notice.

It said commencing Tuesday, March 17, 2020, any traveller who, within the last 14 days, has been to a country that has recorded at least 200 cases of persons infected of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, would not be permitted into the Ghanaian jurisdiction, except for Ghanaian citizens and persons with a Ghana residence permit.

Government further instructed airlines not to allow such persons to embark; and also urged border posts not to permit such travellers into their jurisdiction.

Addressing the press on updates at the Information Ministry following the country’s 7th confirmed COVID-19 case, the Deputy Comptroller of Immigration explained that these foreigners were coming from counties with over 200 cases of coronavirus.

In another incident today, the Deputy Comptroller of Immigration (DCGI) in-charge of Command Post and Operations narrated that, “the airport in Abidjan was closed because of an incident on the tarmac so flights were being diverted into Ghana.”

But Mr Affrifah said these flights were refused to land at the Kotoka International Airport. He, however, revealed that an Ethiopian Airline plane that landing without permission was prevented from disembarking and were refuelled to “continue their journey.”

Enforcement of public ban at land borders

The Ghana Immigration Service has also tightened its grip at the country’s land borders in light of the President’s directive.

Deputy Comptroller of Immigration revealed that a Nigerian was refused entry at the Aflao border on Tuesday as his travel history indicated he had “travelled from Korea four days earlier to Nigeria.”

Two Australians and a German were also barred from entering the country at the Aflao border post on Wednesday.

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