COVID-19: Ghana tightens airport protocols to keep out new coronavirus strain
Ghana is the latest to strengthen its airport restrictions due to fears about a highly infectious new coronavirus strain, causing travel chaos in parts of the world.
In his latest update on Ghana’s management of the coronavirus pandemic, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced that all arriving passengers who test positive for COVID-19, asymptomatic or not, will undergo mandatory isolation and treatment at a designated health facility or isolation centre.
The isolation will be for seven days at the cost of the Government.
All passengers who are in isolation will undergo a repeat COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival, with the cost also borne by Government.
This test will also include genomic sequencing for COVID-19, the president indicated.
“I want to assure all Ghanaians that the testing regime in place at Kotoka is amongst the strictest in the world, and, as certified by the Food and Drugs Authority, it is capable of detecting this new variant of COVID-19, which is plaguing other nations around the world,” President Akufo-Addo assured further.
COVID case count at KIA
As of January 1, 2021, 712 positive cases, out of 118,278 tests conducted, have been recorded among international arrivals at the Kotoka International Airport.
The President noted that December alone recorded 387 cases with the positivity rate among international arrivals rising from 0.26 percent in September to 0.93 percent in December.
“These developments call for the strengthening of the existing protocols to prevent the spread of the disease in Ghana, in light of the new variant of the virus,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The Kotoka International Airport reopened to international passenger traffic on September 1, 2020, after an initial border closure.
Arriving passengers must have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.
All passengers aged five and over must undertake an additional antigen test on arrival at the cost of $150 per passenger, with results available within 30 minutes.
Passengers, who tested positive for Covid-19 were to be handled by the health authorities for further clinical management.