Deputy Minister for Health Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye has justified the $150 charge for testing each arriving passenger at the Kotoka International Airport, KIA, from Tuesday, September 1.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced on Sunday, August 30 that the country’s foremost airport, which was closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, would be reopened after all protocols have been put in place.
The president added that all passengers that arrive in the country will undergo tests for coronavirus.
Each test will cost $150, according to the government.
Dr Okoe Boye said government’s extensive considerations with test costs across the globe coupled with the testing regime adopted led to the figure, which, he says, is competitive.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, August 31, the Ledzokuku lawmaker said “when you go to Togo, there you pay about €150, in Benin, you pay about €150. In fact, I just got the figures from Nigeria, they pay about $130”.
He added: “Before this reopening, we had evacuation flights coming to Ghana and any passenger who got on board actually paid for two weeks of hotel bills before coming to Ghana. If you are paying an average of $70 per night, you have to multiply $70 by 14 days. The cost far overwhelms what we are charging for the test we are doing right now.
“Secondly, if we should keep you here for six hours, for the other test, it will pose a risk of congestion at the airport which in itself will serve as an incubation chamber for possibly sharing of the virus amongst passengers. So, the factors tell us that it is actually prudent to go with this regime.”
He continued: “Thirdly, remember that when Ghana first quarantined travellers in this country, and we picked over 14 cases, we actually tested them twice and each PCR test we did cost an average $70 to $100. So, Ghana spent close to $200 dollars on one person, to make sure that the virus is not brought to Ghanaians.”
“So, for the passenger to pay $150, which is less than what we pay I think that it’s a very good bargain,” he added.
By Laud Narrtey|3news.com|Ghana