The Presidential Advisor on health, Dr Anthony Nsia Asare, has justified the $150 coronavirus testing fee for travelers.
The government is charging all persons travelling into the country $150 for the compulsory Covid-19 test but this has raised mixed reactions from a cross-section of Ghanaians.
The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS), for instance, has said the decision by the government violates part of the International Health Regulation (IHR) 2005, which forbids the charging of travelers for any medical examination to ascertain their status.
A letter to the Health Minister by the BPS on the matter read: “We find the government’s decision to mandatorily levy all travellers $150 testing fee a grave violation of act 7 of the IHR 2005 which states that except for travellers seeking temporary or permanent residence, no charge shall be made by a state for any medical examination provided for in the IHR or any supplementary examinations which may be required by the state to ascertain the health status of the traveller examined for the protection of public health.”
The Bureau has, therefore, called on the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to “with immediate effect withdraw the $150 testing fee per traveller, completely”.
But speaking in an interview with Alfred Ocansey on the Sunrise morning show on Thursday, September 3, Dr Nsia Asare said the kind of measures and infrastructure put in place at the Kotoka International Airport for the testing makes the cost justified.
“The most important thing is that you will want to limit the importation of the virus into the country,” he stated.
“And you will want to do it in a way that it doesn’t cause any inconvenience to the passenger, you want to do it in a way that it will make the airport a very friendly airport. That is exactly what is happening at the airport.
“If anybody will make a comment to the cost build-up, then the person should go to the airport and go and see the sort of infrastructure which has been done at the airport and you will appreciate it.
“I don’t want to compare prices. All that I want to say is when something is done it is not free because we have said it from the beginning that government will not bear the cost. Somebody has to.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana