A Ghanaian returnee from abroad has expressed surprise about what she says is loose regime of Covid-19 screening at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) where the government is charging a cut-throat fee of US$150 for rapid coronavirus tests.
According to the returnee whose name has been kept anonymous for her safety, the chain of procedures at the KIA is that when a passenger disembarks from a plane, they are asked to pay the US$150 for compulsory Covid-19 test. However, after the payment has been effected, some of the passengers are just given a medical form on which it is indicated that they are negative of the Covid-19 virus.
“Usually, per my experience, when proper Covid-19 tests are done (abroad), samples are taken from your nose and your throat for testing; that is the real Covid-19 test that I know. But here, immediately you finish paying the money, you are given some forms on which is written “Negative” and allowed to take it away. They don’t take any samples.”
Whatsup News has not been able to verify this allegation.
The returnee in question spoke in Twi to a social critic and her interview has already gone viral on social media.
According to the revelation, the focus on money, and neglect for strict due procedure has created huge porosity at the KIA that is likely to soon lead to the feared second wave of the deadly COVID-19 in Ghana.
Meanwhile, Whatsup News has been finding out that arrivals who are unable to afford the US$150 price tag for Covid-19 tests in Ghana are shabbily quarantined by officials. Some are also forced to return to their home country.
The fees charged by the government at Ghana’s international airport has been a subject of disagreement between scientists and critics. They claim the government is unfairly cashing in using a cheap testing method.
Recently, Dr Kofi Bonney, a scientist from Noguchi revealed that the Covid-19 test at KIA was being done through Antigen test which is the cheapest and less accurate.
“Scientifically with the PCR test, within 72 hours, it’s enough. I don’t know why we have to do an antigen test which is less sensitive upon arrival. If we look at the tests that have been done over the years, we have a varying sensitivity percentage between 34% to around 80%,” he told Joy News a couple of weeks ago.
However, his revelation quickly drew a counter statement from the management of Noguchi, who claim Dr. Bonney was talking in his personal capacity, and not necessarily reflect the view of Noguchi about the controversial test.In a September 3, 2020 statement issued in response to Dr. Bonney, the Noguchi research centre insists that it does not share the views of its scientist and that of critics