The Secretary General of the African Development Bank Group, Professor Vincent Nmehielle has expressed his fear over the payment of the stipulated $150 PCR Covid-19 testing by government to passengers entering the country.
Describing it as “exorbitant” and an impediment to free movement of goods and people on the continent, Mr. Nmehielle called on government to reconsider the charge instituted at the Kotoka International Airport.
Speaking in an interview at the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding between the Government of Ghana and the African Development Bank Group for the hosting of the annual meetings of the AfDB group from May 24th to May 28th 2021, he intimated that, with AfCFTA Secretariat being in Ghana, a key aspect of integration outside of movement of goods is the movement of people.
“What more can you say about integration? The AfCFTA Secretariat is in Ghana. A key aspect of integration outside of movement of goods is the movement of people. In fact, that brings me to my encounter at the airport that I have to pay $150 to do a COVID test. It was scary for me. That’s going to hamper a lot of free movement and if you ask me it is exorbitant.”
Despite several calls made by stakeholders for the reduction of PCR testing in Ghana as replicated in other countries, the Deputy Minister for Health, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye defending the $150 being charged so far at the Kotoka International Airport, said even though there are cheaper ones, they are not able to point out those who are active with the virus.
As such, passengers coming to Ghana by air are required to pay $150 for a 30-minute PCR COVID-19 test administered by Frontiers Health Care Limited. This began after the Kotoka International Airport was opened to international traffic on September 1, 2020, after being closed in March 2020 because of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the management of the Kotoka International Airport has disclosed that, children who fall between the ages of five to twelve years will be exempted from paying the stipulated $150 PCR testing.
In a statement issued by KIA, it as well revealed that, “children under 5 years of age will not be required to undergo testing on arrival” at the airport.
It further rehashed on the fine of $3,500 to airlines who flout the COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“Airlines who board passengers without PCR tests results or transport and disembark passengers with positive PCR test result into Accra will be fined US$ 3,500 per passenger”.
Indication from the Airport, was that, non- Ghanaians, may be denied entry and returned to the “point of embarkation at the cost of the airline”.
Ghanaians will however, be allowed entry but subject to fourteen (14) days of mandatory quarantine “at a designated location, at the passengers cost”.
Arriving passengers will also go through stipulated temperature screening. The updated guidelines, which commences today, Monday, November 16, 2020, requires passengers arriving in Ghana to pay the $150 for the PCR test on their online platform.
Leave a Reply