Civil society group, OccupyGhana, has called for a ban on travels to and from high-risk COVID-19 countries.
The group has urged government to arrest and prosecute travellers that would be found to have entered Ghana with fake results saying they have tested negative for COVID-19.
The call was in response to reports that there is an influx into Ghana of persons who are COVID-19 positive, as revealed by Frontiers Health Services, managers of Ghana’s COVID-19 testing programme at the Kotoka International Airport.
The statement said “without exception, all travellers who test positive must be sent to a GHS-designated isolation facility as per our protocols for further clinical assessment and treatment. A negative PCR test must be repeated after Day 5. The passenger may be de-isolated following 2 negative tests”
It appealed to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to leave no stone unturned in reducing the importation of positive cases.
It said “judging by the terrible effects of the third wave of COVID -19 which has crippled health systems and led to the loss of thousands of lives in several countries, a third wave in Ghana with its new variants could be catastrophic.”
In the statement, issued in Accra on Monday, OccupyGhana said: “as a matter of urgency, we must identify the high-risk countries and restrict travel to and from them. Citizens and residents of Ghana may be allowed entry, only if they test negative at KIA and are mandatorily quarantined for at least 10 days at their own cost”
The statement said there is the need to “provide incentives to hotels to accept passengers from high-risk countries for quarantine” and that travellers must pay hotel quarantine bills in full, prior to travel.
Frontiers Health Services, managers of Ghana’s COVID-19 testing programme at the Kotoka International Airport, in a letter addressed to the Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited, Yaw Kwakwa read in part:
“Today 24th of April 2021, we recorded seventy-five (75) positive cases. This exceeds the previous highest rate of forty-five (45) positive cases on the 21st of April 2021.
“We once again appeal to all stakeholders to implement stringent measures on the quality o the PCR results acceptable for entry into the Republic of Ghana. It has become imperative to implement new guidelines to curtail the influx of positive cases into the country”.
The letter was signed by Dr. Kudzo Seneadza, Managing Director of the company.
Meanwhile during same week, the Ministry of Health (MoH), had announced that it had implemented the digitization of COVID-19 test results for ease of verification prior to travel and upon arriving in the country. It said this would be done through the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Pan BIOS Consortium.
This was revealed in a statement signed by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, on Tuesday, 20 April 2021.
According to a news statement signed by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, on Tuesday, 20 April 2021, Ghana has become the first country in ECOWAS to deploy this new digital system for l verification of COVID-19 PCR test results based on the African Union Trusted Travel and ECOWAS BIOMAS standard.
The Health Minister said “all travelers, Airlines and Diplomatic Missions, Port Health, COVID-19 testing laboratories and all other relevant stakeholders in Ghana are informed that only test results or certificates bearing Trusted Travel or BIOMARS codes will be considered valid for travel out of Ghana from 21st April 2021”.