Government has pegged COVID-19 testing fee at US$150 for travelers entering Ghana through the airport
This development comes as the country readies to reopening the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to international passenger traffic after five months of closure.
The coronavirus testing rollout for all travelers coming to Ghana forms part of directives outlined by the Ministry of Aviation and Health to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Addressing the media on measures taken ahead of the reopening of the airport on September 1, the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, Yaw Kwakwa said the accuracy of the testing is around 99 to 100 percent.
“It takes a maximum of 30 minutes for a particular passenger to go through the entire process and get his or her results. This system is so convenient that passengers will practically go through our terminal building with only a fraction of time added to what they used to do before,” he added.
Mr.Kwakwa also indicated that needed collaborations have been to ensure that passengers go through the protocols smoothly.
“It is mandatory for any airline coming to Ghana to ensure that passengers have a face mask on but we know that some of our people will be traveling from afar.
Reacting to the US$150 fee for the testing, the Deputy Minister for Health Dr Benard Okoe-Boye described it as a good bargain.
“The cost of the test will not put unnecessary difficulty or burden on the passenger. We looked at what is being charged across the globe so when you go to a place like Zimbabwe you pay about US$210 for a test.
“Here at the airport, we are interested in two things; the test must be very specific and sensitize which means it must tell us if you have the virus and if it says it’s negative then you pose no threat to Ghanaians' he explained.
He also explained that the new arrangement was very prudent as compared to the previous arrangement where travelers had to pay for accommodation for two weeks to enable them quarantine for the period while awaiting their results.
The Deputy Minister also added that a percentage of the revenue generated from the testing will go into the development and maintenance of the airport.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Airport Company is expecting to receive a total of 1200 passengers within its peak period after reopening.