Covid-19 Testing Protocols Unchanged For Vaccinated Travellers

Chairman of the committee, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie, addressing the media after the tour

The Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) has indicated its Covid-19 testing protocol for all passengers entering the country remains unchanged even for travellers who have been vaccinated.

According to the company, all vaccinated travellers would still be required to have a negative test before boarding their flights to Ghana and another test at the airport on their arrival.

“Vaccination does not change the protocol because it does not prevent people from transmitting the disease. So, the protocol has not changed here yet,” Yaw Kwakwa, Managing Director (GACL) said yesterday, adding that “We are studying the disease and data, and so far, we have no cause to modify the protocol.”

Mr. Kwakwa made the statement when the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health visited the KIA to assess the Covid-19 testing facilities at the airport following reports of increased positive test results, a few weeks ago.

The tour was to provide the MPs with first-hand information on the Covid-19 testing system operated by Frontier Healthcare Services (FHS) at the country’s major entry point.

The team, led by the Chairman of the Select Committee on Health, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie, was taken through the testing process from the point of data collection through to payment of testing fees, which have been reduced from $150 to $50 for Ghanaian passport holders, to the sample collection site and then the lab for testing before the results are released.

Managing Director FHS, Dr. Kudzo Seneadza, said the facility has been designed to ensure the comfort of passengers by providing efficient and timely service.

He indicated that it takes about 30 minutes for passengers to get through the processes, adding that there is an online platform that can equally be accessed by passengers for the registration and checking of their Covid-19 test results.

“We are in touch with our manufactures so they can regularly update the system to capture new Covid-19 variants,” he added.

Addressing the media after the tour of the facility, Dr. Afriyie and the Ranking Member of the Select Committee on Health, Kwabena Minta Akandor, both expressed satisfaction with the operational process of the testing system.

“We have gone through the process from arrival before the passenger exits the airport… we can say we are impressed,” they said.

They, however, raised concerns over some possible lapses they observed on the tour, including several passenger contacts with port officials (Port Health and Immigration) before the test results are released.

They also wished the cost of the test for Ghanaian nationals would be further reduced from the current $50.

“From here, we are going to have a discussion with the authorities on some policy issues regarding the system, some of which include doubts regarding the test results,” they indicated.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri