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General News of Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Source: rainbownradioonline.com

Cost of testing for travellers outrageous, make it free - NDC Communicator

A communication team member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Eric Sosu has described as outrageous the cost of COVID-19 test for travellers who are returning to Ghana.

According to him, the cost is not only outrageous but a fleece on the travellers who have been hit by the economic challenges of the coronavirus.

Travellers coming to Ghana by air are supposed to pay $150 (¢868) for Covid-19 testing, the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, Yaw Kwakwa disclosed at a press conference on Monday, August 31, 2020.

The directive he explained forms part of directives outlined by the Ministry of Aviation and Health to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and ensure that the deadly disease is not imported into the country.

“It takes a maximum of 30 minutes for a particular passenger to go through the entire process and get his or her results.

“This system is so convenient that passengers will practically go through our terminal building with only a fraction of time added to what they used to do before,” he added.

He added: “It is mandatory for any airline coming to Ghana to ensure that passengers have a face mask on but we know that some of our people will be travelling from afar.

“When you are coming from London, you will probably travel like six hours and so when you land at the KIA and you come through the passenger door and get to the edge of the terminal building, we will give you a fresh face mask.

“There is a service provider that we are using to do all of this. So we give you the face mask and you start going through the process. When you enter you go to the far end of the upper part of arrivals and you queue to go through the testing centre.

“But one convenience is that there is no country that you can go through the process and be able to get the results within 30 minutes and if you are negative the health professionals take over from there,” he said.

But Mr. Sosu insits the cost is outrageous and called on the government to make it free for Ghanaians and charge foreigners coming to Ghana.

”Ghanaians who are returning home should not be charged. They have been stranded for months and upon returning, you are charging them $150 for a test. This is ridiculous. The government should use the COVID-19 relief fund to pay the cost of the test. If the returnees are unable to pay for the test, it means, they will be kept at the airport.”

Meanwhile, Oliver Ofori Baah, a communication team member of the NPP has disagreed saying the cost is far cheaper than what is being charged here.

He said the cost is reasonable and the government should be commended.

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