KIA reopening: US$150 coronavirus test stokes more debate

Kotoka  1124x570 Operators say the cost is one of the highest in the sub-region and on the continent

Wed, 2 Sep 2020 Source: thebusiness24online.net

The traveling public and airline operators have expressed reservations about the cost of the country’s COVID-19 test on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport.

Operators say the cost is one of the highest in the sub-region and on the continent. A COVID-19 test upon arrival in the Republic of Togo costs US$70 and in Ivory Coast US$80.

Rwanda’s COVID-19 test costs US$60, which includes US$50 for the test and a medical service fee of US$10. Egypt has also just announced a US$30 cost for PCR analysis for arriving passengers.

“The cost of the test will make traveling expensive, especially at a time when COVID-19 has eroded travel confidence and airlines are doing all they can to stimulate demand again,” one airline operator told Bsuiness24.

Aviation Minister Joseph Kofi Adda has however justified the cost, saying it is cost-reflective and cheaper than what passengers would have spent if a 14-day quarantine regime was in place.

Dr. Kofi Bonney, lead virologist at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research of the University of Ghana, however, called into question the need to conduct an antigen test on passengers who present a negative PCR test upon arrival.

“Scientifically, with the PCR test, within 72 hours, it’s enough. I don’t know why we have to do an antigen test, which is less sensitive, upon arrival. If we look at the tests that have been done over the years, we have a varying sensitivity percentage between 34 percent to around 80 percent,” he said in a press interview.

Airlines restart operations

Business24 checks have revealed that most international airlines are resuming operations this week.

TAP Portugal is restarting operations today; KLM, Air France, Emirates, MEA and Ethiopian are all restarting operations this week. Ethiopian will operate a service between Accra and Addis Ababa on September 3, and Emirates is expected to resume on September 6.

Source: thebusiness24online.net
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