Reopening of KIA: Passengers to pay 150 dollars for COVID-19 test
Accra, Aug. 31, GNA-Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, the Deputy Minister of Health, Monday announced that passengers arriving into the country through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) will pay 150 dollars for the COVID-19 test.
The Deputy Minister said the amount was cost-effective considering what passengers paid in other countries.
Dr Okoe-Boye, addressing the media in Accra ahead of the reopening of the Airport said countries like Zimbabwe, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria charged more than 150 dollars with test results delaying for hours and causing congestion.
He said the country’s testing equipment was certified by the regulatory agencies including the Ghana Standard Authority, Food and Drugs Authority with a sensitivity rate of 99 percent.
“The country has gone for a testing regime that identifies the virus in a maximum of 30 minutes. The equipment that will allow for taking samples of passengers are all in a safe and ready to reopen the facility”, the Deputy Minister said.
He said all the required preventive and safety protocols, were in place to prevent the re-importation of COVID-19 into the country through the Airport, which was closed in March to contain the virus.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 16th address to the nation on Sunday, August 30, announced the reopening of the Kotoka International Airport from Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
Dr Okoe-Boye said the country’s preventive measures at the Airport would ensure that any passenger arriving into the country would have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin.
He said the test should have been done not more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin.
However, the Deputy Minister said all airlines had been instructed to ensure compliance with the directive for all passengers who intended to travel to Ghana, adding that any airlines that failed to comply with the directives would be sanctioned.
Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, the Minister of Aviation said the Ministry and its agencies had put in place robust measures to ensure the safe reopening of the Airport to international passenger traffic.
He said the preparations included the installation of seven temperature thermal scanners and 350 sampling booths, each at the south and north of the Terminal Three arrival points to test passengers for COVID-19, floor markings to ensure social distancing, counselling units, and standby ambulances.
The Minister said all the measures were in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s take-off guidance for safe operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.