Deep throat sources within the sanctum sanctorum at the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ministry of Health have revealed to 3news.com that the government is considering cancelling Covid-19 testing being done by Frontiers Limited at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The sources said even if the testing will continue which they doubt, it will be limited to unvaccinated passengers.
When TV3 contacted the Director of Public Health at the GHS, Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe on this matter, he only touched on the calls to open the borders.
“What is good is that the disease burden on either sides of the borders are not not high. So if you open the borders I don’t think it will cause a lot of problems for any of the countries,” he said.
This development comes at a time Former President John Dramani Mahama has ignited debate about the relevance of the compulsory testing at the KIA.
Mr Mahama asked the government to stop the US$50 compulsory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for travellers who have been vaccinated.
Mr Mahama also said the government must also stop the demand for originating PCR tests before the same category of travellers are allowed to board flights to Ghana.
In a Facebook post on Saturday March 19, he said “I travelled last month to London on British Airways. I was pleasantly surprised when I was informed that I did not require a COVID-19 PCR test to board the flight.
“While I was still required to fill a locator form, no further tests were required of me for the 12 days I stayed in the UK. Imagine my shock when British Airways informed me that I would be required to take a PCR test before I am allowed to board my return flight home. They explained that this is because of regulations in Ghana. It cost £90 to have the test done.
“I was also informed that I would not be checked in for the flight back unless I filled an online form and paid a fee of $50.From my recent experience with PCR testing and COVID regulations at our airport, I think it is time for Government to review the procedures and protocols.
“It is an inconvenience, a financial burden and actually unfair to compel our citizens, who we encouraged to take COVID-19 vaccinations, with some taking the boosters, to pay as much as £90 to a foreign clinic for a PCR test before they are allowed to board flights coming back home. And even more ridiculous, they must book another $50 PCR test to be conducted on arrival in Accra. The UK government considers the Ghanaian COVID-19 vaccination card internationally accepted and allows entry once you have the card without any testing.
“It is a most unfortunate situation that Ghanaians who have valid vaccination certificates cannot board flights back home without a £90 PCR test, and an additional US$50 PCR test booking in Accra.
“Government must stop the US$50 compulsory PCR test for travellers who have been vaccinated. And must also stop the demand for originating PCR tests before the same category of travellers are allowed to board flights to Ghana. The reason for UK rolling back its COVID-19 restrictions is that deaths are down and severe cases requiring intensive care are down, and besides they believe it’s time to learn to live with Covid.
“I think it is time for us in Ghana to do same. The long border closures have devastated the economy of our border communities. Government’s announcement that it is deliberating at Cabinet about a possible opening of our land borders is long overdue. Let’s open the land borders now!”