The Bureau of Public Safety has raised red flags over government’s mandatory COVID-19 test charge for travellers arriving at the Kotoka International Airport.
Government following the lifting of the ban on air travel has through the ministry of health and the Ghana health service instituted a $150 mandatory test fee to be levied on travellers.
The BPS says the move violates part of the International Health Regulation (IHR) 2005 which forbids the charging of travelers for any medical examination to ascertain their status.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister for Health Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye has defended the charge, saying the fee is relatively cheaper as compared to neighbouring countries.
He maintained, “so, for the passenger to pay 150 dollars, which is less than what we pay I think that it’s a very good bargain.”
Others have also called for the reduction of the cost.
A letter to the health minister by the BPS on the matter read “we find the government’s decision to mandatorily levy all travellers $150 testing fee a grave violation of act 7 of the IHR 2005 which states that except for travellers seeking temporary or permanent residence, no charge shall be made by a state for any medical examination provided for in the IHR or any supplementary examinations which may be required by the state to ascertain the health status of the traveller examined for the protection of public health.”
The BPS, has, therefore, called on the GHS to “with immediate effect withdraw the $150 testing fee per traveller, completely.”
It also asked government to “maintain the 72 hour prior to take-off testing requirement and enforce a 14-day mandatory self-isolation regime for passengers arriving without the PCR test taken within the last 72 hours.”