The Ghanaian authorities, on Monday, prevented two Italian nationals from entering the country over fears of coronavirus.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Ghana’s minister of information, made this known.
Italy’s death toll and the number of confirmed cases is the second-highest in the world — after mainland China — where coronavirus broke out in December.
Last Tuesday, the country recorded the highest single toll from coronavirus following the death of 168 people in less than 24 hours. The number of confirmed cases in the country has risen to 24,747 while the total number of deaths increased to 1,809.
Nkrumah said details of the travellers who were on an Air France flight were confirmed early and this triggered the action to deny them entry.
“Last night there were two Italians, who it was clear they were coming from the epicentre …even though the aircraft was still in the air, we had to make arrangements at the airport to ensure that they did not get off the aircraft and they are returned to their originating destination,” Nkrumah said.
“So though we are yet to hit the 1 pm timeline today [Tuesday, March 17, 2020], some soft enforcement has already commenced at our ports of entry.”
On whether there would be a total ban on flights from Italy, he replied:
“As the president said the guidelines that have been given are subject to review at any point in time. At this stage, this is what we believe is appropriate to do and this is how we are enforcing it at this stage.”
The country has six confirmed cases of the disease.
As a part of measures to prevent the spread of the disease, the Ghanaian government said travellers coming into the country and who have been to countries with over 200 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the last 14 days would not be allowed into the country.
However, Ghanaian citizens or persons with Ghana residence permit are exempted from the ban.