We can’t afford it – Stranded Ghanaians in Turkey lament expensive mandatory quarantine bills

Mon, 15 Jun 2020 Source: Pulse Ghana

Some stranded Ghanaians in Turkey have expressed their unhappiness about the amount being charged by government to quarantine them when they are evacuated back to Ghana.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry has been outlining plans to evacuate Ghanaians who are stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indeed, some have already been evacuated while many others are expected to arrive in Accra within the week.

However, not all Ghanaians abroad are impressed with the government, especially with regards to the mandatory quarantine bills.

“We are stranded over here,” says Zeenatu, who is a Physician Assistant student at the Band?rma Onyedi Eylül University in Turkey.

“Most of us are struggling, we’ve been struggling for the past three months and most of us cannot afford the evacuation costs.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry plans to airlift “willing” Ghanaians, quarantine them for a period of 14 days, before reintegrating them back into society if they test negative for COVID-19.

But these stranded Ghanaians are not only expected to pay for their air tickets, the government also requests that the foot the bill for the 14-day quarantine period.

In a statement, the Ghana Embassy said they will be quarantined in two-star and four-star hotels which cost GH¢500 per night and GH¢600 per night, respectively.

This means each stranded Ghanaians that is evacuated will pay at least GH¢7,000 or GH¢8,400 to cover the cost of their quarantine, depending on which hotels they are lodged in.

This, many of the stranded Ghanaians, believe is too expensive and want the government to intervene.

“Can you imagine us being asked to pay all these monies when we are already stranded? We are suffering and we want to come home, but most of us can’t afford these amounts,” Zeenatu told Pulse.com.gh.

“A lot of students are here [stranded]. Everyone is complaining; where are we going to get the money from?

“If we had this kind of money, would we call ourselves “stranded”? Anybody that has this kind of money would prefer to stay abroad and relax till the borders open.”

Zeenatu added: “We have been stuck here for some time and it seems like we are invisible. I read a publication on the countries that our government is planning to evacuate Ghanaians from, but Turkey was not part of them.

“People have been crying. I’ve personally been crying for days now, I’ve totally lost hope but I feel like God is with me. I hope that someone will be able to hear my story and for the President to quickly address our plight.

“They [government] are making it look so nice on TV that they are evacuating us, but the amount of money they are demanding makes it look more like extortion.”

Source: Pulse Ghana
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