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Opinions of Friday, 13 August 2021

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

Don’t be misled by the apology rendered to KIA task force by the Ghanaian-American lady

The temperature of a traveller being checked with a thermometer gun The temperature of a traveller being checked with a thermometer gun

Not long ago, a United States of America naturalised Ghanaian, Ms Ivy Ankrah, challenged the Ghana Kotoka International Airport Covid-19 task force over suspected habitual alterations of Covid-19 entry test results that they make.

A video recording of her candid, although vociferous, agitations, to that effect, went viral on social media.

She could not understand why barely 72 or 24 hours ago, she had tested negative to Covid-19 infection, the prerequisite for fit to fly aboard an airliner to Ghana from the United States of America (USA), but only to be shocked to find herself test positive on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) after thirteen and a half or so hours flight.

Additionally, while on the Ghanaian soil, she had tested negative to the “Rapid Antigen Covid-19 Self-Test Kit” she had carried with her from the USA to Ghana.

The Rapid Antigen Covid-19 Self-Test Kits are supplied free of charge at workplaces, Covid-19 Vaccination Centres and some shopping malls in the United Kingdom to enable workers and interested persons to check at any time if they are suffering from, or have contracted, Covid-19.

These are home test kits that give results within 30 minutes. They have principally swabbed tests same as the PCR except that the test is not determined using complex laboratory machines.

However, the results are accepted in the advanced countries issuing them since the kits and their usage are certified and approved by their medical scientific bodies designated for finding solutions to detecting, preventing, containing, combatting and treating infectious diseases of which the deadly Covid-19 figures conspicuously.

If the kits are without a degree of success, although all laboratory tests knowingly not being absolute, the medical scientists in the USA, the UK, France, etc., would not recommend their use in attempts to curtail the spread of the Covid-19 infection through early and easy detection.

When one tests positive to the test usually taken at home, one simply phones in to alert their employer upon which the infected person will have to self-isolate at home for ten days.

I am not going into the details of the Self-Test kits but how I still believe that the woman had genuine concerns. Nevertheless, she has now been compelled either by intimidation, frustration or public condemnation to backtrack, hence issuing a public apology to the Ghanaian authorities and the M Plaza Hotel.

As usual, I will seek to prove my point, express my opinion and defend the woman to some extent by asking some pertinent questions.

1. Were temperature guns not approved for detecting Covid-19 infection from the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak? Are the same temperature guns not still in use in the advanced countries and probably Africa by certain organisations before allowing entry to their premises by visitors?

2. Temperature guns are still in use at the hospitals in London before entry is permitted to patients who have booked appointments with the hospital. Does Ghana still use the temperature guns for quick decision making on one’s covid-19 status? If yes, do they believe in its efficacy in helping tell who is infected with Covid-19 or not?

3. The temperature gun’s result may not be absolute to tell if one is currently Covid-19 infected since one suffering from malaria fever may have a higher temperature reading. However, once one is tested to having a higher temperature, it is presumed the person is suffering from Covid-19 since a higher temperature is equally a symptom of Covid-19 infection whether true or false.

4. If Ghana accepts the result of the temperature gun which was recommended when Covid-19 became a pandemic, why is Ghana not accepting the results of the Covid-19 home test kits which are in use in the highly developed countries?

5. Could Ghanaian medical scientists refuse a Covid-19 product, vaccine, equipment, etc., approved and certified for use in the highly developed Whiteman’s countries if such items are donated to Ghana?

6. When Ivy’s Covid-19 self-test using the kit she had carried along with her to Ghana tested negative, as opposed to the one carried out on her by the Ghana KIA Covid-19 task force, how did she finally come to accept that hers was wrong hence finally profusely rendering an apology to the Ghanaian authority, M Plaza Hotel and the Ghanaian public?

7. Were further tests carried out on her by independent and sincere third parties, and if yes, was she present when her swabs were being analysed or examined at the laboratories of such non-suspected colluding third parties?

8. Was she simply told by a medical doctor or expert that you can test positive to Covid-19 within a few hours of testing negative and she accepted that explanation hence coming out to regret her earlier agitations and condemnations as seen in her video?

9. Apart from Ivy, are there no other instances of Ghanaian travellers recounting their bitter experiences of how they had been conned or about to be conned by those clinics and bodies approved and designated to carry out Covid-19 fit-to-fly and fit-to-enter tests on travellers?

10. Will Ghana accept any vaccines, Covid-19 home self-test kits in use in Britain and America, medical equipment, etc. as are approved and certified by the UK and USA for use in relation to the detecting, containing and treating the Covid-19 pandemic?

11. If yes, to point number 10, then why are the results of the Home test kits in use in the UK and USA not accepted in Ghana for real but sham? Does the acceptance of such results impugn the sovereignty of Ghana?

12. What is Ghana’s version for detecting one’s infection to Covid-19 while at home so as not to spread their infection but to self-isolate as is being done in the UK and USA through the home self-test kits supplied freely to their citizens?

As long as the majority of Ghanaians cannot fully be entrusted to execute jobs without involving themselves in corrupt practices, all allegations of malfeasance against some designated bodies or persons must be investigated without levelling counter-accusations against the accusers. It is a fact that corruption galore has infested some, if not most, of the operatives in charge of the Covid-19 fit-to-fly or fit-to-enter test in Ghana.

I hope the Ghanaian authorities and the Covid-19 task force are not trying to carry across the message that the Rapid Antigen Covid-19 home self-test kits are a sham hence do not meet the standards set by Ghana to fighting the spread of the disease. Does Ghana know better than the USA or UK when it comes to medical sciences?