The Minority in Parliament has asked the government to as a matter of urgency institute measures to ensure that persons who are tested for COVID-19 at the Kotoka International Airport trust the results they receive.
According to the Minority, a video circulating on social media suggests that there are discrepancies in the outcome of COVID-19 tests conducted at the airport.
Addressing the media on July 30, 2021, a ranking member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, asked the government to afford travellers the opportunity to have an independent opinion on COVID-19 tests.
“Our attention has been drawn to the fact that a lot of travellers who are going through testing at the Kotoka International Airport are doubting the results of those tests, and videos and audio have gone viral to that effect. But it will be irresponsible for us as a Minority to say those tests should be stopped at our entry points because it is important in our fight against Covid-19 that we have those tests. That notwithstanding, to bring this matter to a close, we think that we will recommend to government as a matter of urgency to come up with a measure that those who are doubting their Covid-19 status can have an independent opinion on their status.”
Mr. Akandoh said the Minority will cause the contract of the firm conducting the test to be abrogated if steps are not taken to address concerns raised about such tests within a week.
“It is a huge concern to us because, in the initial stages, we thought that whatever you do, there were going to be a few complaints about the systems, so I thought it was normal. But I think it is becoming too many, and therefore we must have an alternative to solve this particular situation, but I am also drawing the attention of the people doing the testing to check their reagent and equipment. However, if it is found out that their equipment is different, we will not hesitate to call on the government to abrogate their contract.”
Why is this an issue?
Currently, all passengers arriving in Ghana are to have in their possession a negative COVID‑19 PCR test result in English from an accredited laboratory in their country of origin.
The tests are to be done not more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin.
At the airport, passengers are subjected to a mandatory COVID‑19 PCR test at a cost of between $50 and $150 for Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian passengers respectively.
Passengers who test positive for COVID‑19 are made to undergo mandatory isolation and treatment at a designated health facility or isolation centre, at a cost to passengers, except for Ghanaian citizens.