The Ghana Airport Company has disclosed that passengers arriving at the Kotoka International Airport will pay a 150 dollar fee for a Polymerase Chain Reaction, PCR Covid-19 test.
The MD for the company, Yaw Kwakwa made this known at a press conference today.
Providing reasons for the said charge on passengers, Deputy Minister for Health Bernard Okoi Boye said "...what we are doing at the airport is not about academic research, we are interested in two things the test must be very specific and sensitive which means that it must tell us this person has the virus if he or she has it and if the test says it is negative then it poses no risk to Ghanaians.
"We got a ... that was checked at Noguchi, FDA, Ghana Standard Authority and came out with specificity and sensitivity rate of between 99 -100%. Secondly, we were also much interested in the turn around time and after going through a lot of testing we had a minimum 12 munites and a maximum of 30 munites. With these two indicators, we can decide whether the 150 dollars for meeting the two important requirements is reasonable or not?"
President Akufo-Addo yesterday announced that the Kotoka International Airport will from September 1, 2020 resume operations.
He said this during his 16th Covid-19 address to the nation.
"Fellow Ghanaians, in Update No.15, I announced the easing of restrictions in some areas of national life. I also indicated my hope that preparations and simulation exercises underway, including the installation of COVID-19 testing facilities at Kotoka International Airport, would give us a clear indication as to whether or not we could re-open the airport on 1st September. After weeks of thorough work, I am satisfied that it is safe to do so."
"Fellow Ghanaians, I am glad to announce that Kotoka International Airport will reopen and resume operations from Tuesday, 1st September 2020. This decision has been communicated to international airlines across the world."
The President has also outlined some guidelines for passengers and airlines ready to fly into Ghana.
"It has been well-established that the very first cases of COVID-19 in Ghana were imported into our shores. We are determined to make sure this scenario does not recur. The commitment to ensuring that the gradual easing of restrictions, including the reopening of our airports, does not lead to the importation or resurgence of the virus into our country, is firmly in place. That is why the following measures have been taken and duly communicated to airlines wishing to resume flights to Ghana:
Any passenger arriving in Ghana must be in possession of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin. The test should have been done not more than seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin. All airlines have been instructed to ensure compliance with this directive for all passengers wishing to travel to Ghana, and those airlines who fail in this regard will be duly sanctioned;
disembarking passengers must do so wearing face masks;
upon disembarking from the aeroplane, each passenger will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee to be borne by the passenger. The test result will be available within thirty (30) minutes;
4.children under the ages of five (5) will not be required to undergo testing at the airport
passengers, who test positive for COVID-19, will be handled by the health authorities for further clinical assessment and management;
passengers, who test negative, can, thereupon, enter Ghana to go about their lawful activities, and will be advised to continue to observe COVID-19 safety precautions during their stay in Ghana.
The Ministries of Information, Health and Aviation, and their respective agencies- the Ghana Health Service, the Ghana Airports Co. Ltd., and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority – will spell out in further detail the protocols surrounding the re-opening of our international airport, and the procedures to be adhered to by passengers arriving in Ghana at the COVID-19 media briefing tomorrow, Monday, 31″ August.
For the avoidance of doubt, our borders, by land and sea, will continue to remain closed to human traffic until further notice."