Government is on track to complete simulations of a set up that will enable it open the Kotoka International Airport for international travel on September 1.
As part of the preparations, a state-of-the-art laboratory, which is being set-up at the Arrival Hall will receive samples of passengers who travel in as part of mandatory Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and process them. Results will then be transmitted electronically to the port health stations in the main arrival hall before a passenger gets there.
The receivable samples will be from over 70 sampling collection booths set-up at the upper level of the Arrival Hall and results will be ready between 12-15 minutes.
Passengers with negative PCR tests will then be cleared by Port Health to Proceed to the immigration counter and admitted into Ghana. Passengers with positive PCR tests will be handed over by port health authorities to health professionals stationed at the facility to be transported to treatment or isolation centres.
Consequently, all arriving passengers who test negative will not be required to go through the mandatory 14-day quarantine, as has been the case with the many repatriation flights undertaken within the past few months.
Passengers are, however, expected to bear the cost of the PCR test estimated to be between GH¢200-400 which compared to the old system of mandatory quarantine is quite less expensive.
“We have done our best, the service providers of GACL have worked throughout the night and we are hopeful that after the simulation exercise on Friday and Saturday, we will be able to open by September 1,” Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda is quoted as saying.
In the case of passengers travelling from Ghana to other parts of the world, the requirement will be that they take a PCR test 72-hours prior to departure and present the negative PCR test to port health officials for verification before they are allowed to complete departure formalities.
Wearing of face mask is compulsory for all passengers except for children under six years and for medical reasons-which must be proven.
President Akufo-Addo, it would be recalled, announced the possible the reopening of Terminal 3 of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), possibly on September 1, to the country’s ability to test each passenger upon arrival.
The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of the University of Ghana, therefore, began testing the efficacy of a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Detection Kit, to be deployed for testing inbound international passengers when the airport is re-opened next month, days ago.