The decision to accept the deportees back home, amid the closure of the country’s borders to prevent the importation of COVID-19, was reached at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, May 21.
This follows weeks of bilateral discussions on the status and welfare of the Ghanaian citizens, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah announced this at a media briefing, in Accra, on Friday.
This was after Kuwait informed Ghana about its intention to deport the illegal migrants. Kuwait will also bear the cost of their trip via a special charter arrangement.
Subsequently, the Government granted a special permit for their return in line with immigration and health regulations and protocols to prevent any threat to the Ghanaian population.
The trip, however, falls under the exemptions granted for special evacuation flights of foreign nationals during the border closure period.
“The deportees will be in the custody of the State for preliminary investigations on the circumstances of their illegal stay in Kuwait,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.
“Upon completion of the investigations, a case by case determination will be made on the status and the further handling of each deportee in accordance with law”.
However, immediately they arrive, they would be mandatorily quarantined and tested for COVID-19, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.
Those who test positive for the virus would be supported with treatment; while the negative persons would remain in State quarantine for a second test at the end of the 14-day quarantine period.
The Minister said the cost of quarantine and treatment would be borne by the Government.
The National Security Secretariat in collaboration with the Military, Ghana Immigration Service and Police would be responsible for ensuring the mandatory quarantine is adequately enforced.
“The public is hereby assured that all the measures to ensure the health of the general population and the gains of the COVID-19 Response Programme would be upheld by the Government,” the Minister stated.
On the data gathered by the Ghanaian Missions abroad on Ghanaians stranded in foreign countries due to the border closure, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said thousands of Ghanaians had provided information about their resident status.
The Government would, therefore, study the report based on cohort-by-cohort basis and make a determination.