Charging Passengers $150 ‘Fair Deal’ – Okoe Boye
Government has since justified the $150 fee to be paid by travellers arriving in Ghana for COVID-19 test at the Kotoka International Airport following the reopening of the country’s air borders.
The recent justification was made following calls by the Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) for an immediate withdrawal of the fee.
The Bureau argues the government's action is “a grave violation of Part VII of the International Health Regulations (2005).”
But speaking to Citi News, a Deputy Minister for Health, Bernard Okoe Boye said the amount charged by the government is fair given the kind of antigen testing that has been adopted.
“Even the previous arrangements are about three or four times more costly than what we have at the airport. By the way, most of the people talking about cost are referring to quick RDTs and antibody tests. But for the education of the public, an RDT test cannot help identify people with a virus and prevent them from entering a country. So what we are doing is antigen test which is not cheap. I will say that looking at all considerations, it is a fair price.”
BPS in a letter to the Health Minister dated Wednesday, September 2, 2020, also urged the Ministry of Health to direct the Ghana Health Service to “maintain the 72-hour prior-take-off/travel testing requirement and enforce a 14-day mandatory self-isolation regime for passengers arriving without a PCR test taken within the last 72 hours.”