After re-evaluated quality checks on COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), government is satisfied with the sensitivity and specificity of the testing regime there, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said.
He noted that all arriving passengers who tested positive (for COVID-19) would follow the laid down procedure and that those who tested negative from designated COVID-19 hotspots, and testing negative at the KIA, might be subjected to a repeat test on the third day of arrival.
The President stated this on Sunday, in his 25th broadcast to the nation on measures taken against the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
He said to prevent fake COVID-19 PCR certificates being used to enter the country, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, had begun the process of digitizing PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test results to ensure ease of verification.
He said the technology platform being used at the KIA was based on the standards set by the Africa Trust Travel and ECOWAS Biomars.
President Akufo-Addo said all travellers arriving in Ghana must have test results or certificates bearing the trusted travel or biomars codes to be acceptable at KIA.
The President reiterated that as captured in the travel directive jointly issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the Ghana Health Service, that all non-essential trips to countries with high COVID-19 infection rates should either be cancelled or postponed.
“There will be plenty of time, God-willing, for such trips in the future. We will continue to review our travel restriction measures.”
He said: “Our fight against the virus, my fellow Ghanaians, is no means over. The continuous havoc being experienced by some countries, as a result of the virus, is a testament to the fact that, until all countries have rid themselves of the virus, and have achieved herd immunity, none is safe.”
“So, let us all continue to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols that are now part of our day-to-day activities. We see the rewards for our compliance with the protocols, whenever we witness favourable scenarios in our fight against the virus, evidence in easing of some of the restrictions.”
He said beginning from May 19th to 26tt, the deployment of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines would take place across the designated vaccination centres in 43 districts.
This, he said was approximately 12 weeks after the first jab, as the science prescribes; adding that more details of the deployment would be communicated by the Ghana Health Service in the coming weeks.
He said in the past few days, the Government had, through COVAX, received an additional 350,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.
The President said these would be added to existing stock to provide the second jab for the 300,000 persons, in the 43 districts in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Central Regions, who received their first jabs from 1st to 9th March.
He noted that efforts were being made to ensure that those who received their first jabs after the 9th of March would, in due course, receive the second.
“We are expecting an additional 300,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines, which have already been approved by the Food and Drugs Authority, to arrive in the country. As and when we make further progress in the acquisition of vaccines, the Ministries of Health and Information will make this known to you. We are making all efforts to achieve our overall vaccination target.” President Akufo-Addo said.