COVID-19 revised protocols at KIA begins today for travellers
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) will from today, January 6, 2023, begin the implementation of the revised protocols at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), following the increase in COVID-19 cases in China.
Per the revised protocols, all air travellers arriving from China will now be required to present a negative PCR COVID test result, not older than 48 hours before departure.
The travellers will also undergo another test on arrival at the airport at no cost.
Speaking to the media, Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, said this has become necessary to ensure that Ghana does not record a spike in COVID-19 cases.
“We are making an assumption that there is a threat coming from China, so if you are coming from China and have vaccinated or not, to us, we assume that you haven’t been vaccinated, and then we test you. So that is the change we are trying to introduce.”
“We are trying to address the uncertainty around China, so with time when we realise that the cases are the same, then, in that case, they are not different from what is happening. That is why we introduced the revised protocols,” Dr. Asiedu-Bekoe explained.
Ghana Airports Company Limited has revised its guidelines on COVID-19
“The Ghana Airports Company Limited has revised its guidelines on Covid-19 at the Kotoka International Airport, with effect from January 6, 2023.
The decision follows the soaring cases of the virus in China and other countries.
A statement issued by the Ghana Airports Company Limited warned that it will surcharge airlines that fail to ensure that passengers originating from China to Ghana are fully vaccinated $3,500.
“Airlines that bring passengers to Kotoka International Airport who are not fully vaccinated or passengers originating their journey from China without a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test results 48 hours prior to the departure would be surcharged $3500,” KIA warned.
According to GACL, passengers arriving in Ghana from China “will be required to undergo mandatory Covid-19 testing on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport at no cost,”
GACL added, “passengers originating their journey from China will be required to present a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test result 48 hours prior to departure from the originating country.”
The statement added that passengers originating from other countries apart from China who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated will also be required to present a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test result 48 hours prior to departure.
“All other passengers, originating their journey from elsewhere other than China (i.e., Ghanaian citizens, permanent residents of Ghana or non-Ghanaians), who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, will be required to present a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test result 48 hours prior to departure from originating country,” Ghana Airport Company stressed in the statement.
It stated that all passengers arriving in Ghana [citizens, residents, visitors] who are fully vaccinated will be exempted from any form of testing either prior to boarding from, “originating country or on arrival in Ghana except passengers originating their journey from China.”
The statement emphasised that, wearing of nose mask is recommended in all Airport Terminals and ancillary buildings, adding that passengers may be randomly selected and offered tests on arrival.
GHS Covid-19 review
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) on January 2, 2023, announced that it is reviewing Covid-19 preventive measures due to soaring cases in China and other countries.
According to the GHS, despite the consistent decline in Covid-19 cases in Ghana over the past three months, the change in the global situation particularly in China poses a significant threat to the importation of the virus and a new wave of COVID-19 infection in the country.
GHS in a statement signed by its Director-General, Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye, said the “situation calls for tightening and reviewing of existing measures to avert further outbreaks. Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health are critically monitoring the situation in consultation with key stakeholders. We will shortly come out with our country-specific measures to address the current threat of COVID-19, especially with respect to importation”.