Immigration Service rejects over 200 travellers from coronavirus-hit countries

Laud Kwesi Affrifah, the Deputy Comptroller of Immigration (DCGI) in-charge of Command Post and Operations, has indicated the Ghana Immigration Service has refused about 200 foreign nationals entry into the country as part of measures to curb a spread of COVID-19 in Ghana.

“Over 200 people have been turned back. Only those with resident permits are being allowed in,” he said at a press briefing in Accra.

Government directed airlines to stop bringing in travellers from countries that have recorded over 200 cases of coronavirus effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

“..On the 16th March, we refused two Italians entry. In fact, we did not allow them to disembark…Yesterday, 17th of March, 24 Chinese were refused entry and also one German was also denied entry with the kicking in of the travel ban at 1 pm,” Mr. Affrifah said.

He explained that, “there was an incident in Abidjan. The airport was closed due to an issue with their tarmac so flights were being directed to Ghana. All those flights were refused entry and were sent back. One Ethiopian plane that landed without permission, the passengers were not allowed to disembark. It [the plane] was refuelled and asked to leave. There has been a drastic reduction in entries.”

The Ghana Immigration Service further told the media that, it has also tightened its grip at the country’s land borders following the President’s directive.

Mr. Affrifah noted that “the travel ban is not only for the airlines but also being enforced at our land borders. We operate 45 land borders, the major ones being Aflao, Paga, Elubo and other Ghana posts. Yesterday, Aflao refused entry to a Nigerian who was travelling in the country from Nigeria. Our checks revealed that he had travelled from North Korea prior to coming to Nigeria so he was refused. Today, three foreigners have been refused at the Aflao border post. One German and two Australians. Lome operates virtually a visa-free regime so a lot of nationals can come through there so that is why Aflao and the other entry points are tight on controls so the German and two Australians who also fall within their 200 cases recorded in their country were also refused entry.” he said.

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