The Kotoka International Airport on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, received its first batch of international commercial passengers after six months of closure due to COVID-19.
The facility was closed down in March as part of measures to curtail the spread of the virus through importation at Ghana’s borders.
It was however reopened following an announcement by President Akufo-Addo last Sunday.
Management of the airport has prepared the facility to allow travellers to adhere to all COVID 19 protocols including mandatory testing on arrival at a fee.
Citi News’ Nana Tuffour Boateng who was at the facility to find out if these protocols are being effectively implemented, reported that passengers are satisfied with the level of compliance so far.
“We are residents of Ghana but have had to stay out for this long because of border closures. So it is great news that we are coming back. We have subjected ourselves to immigration and port health officials for the necessary protocols. We were tested before we came but we are still going to quarantine,” one passenger said.
The government decided to re-open the airport because public health officials can now conduct rapid tests within 30 minutes to enable the isolation of passengers who might arrive in the country with the novel coronavirus.
Management of the Ghana Airport Company says passengers arriving in Ghana will pay a $150 fee for a 30-minute PCR COVID-19 test.
Many have however questioned how the company will deal with the overflow of passengers and accurate and swift COVID-19 testing.
The Managing Director of Ghana Airport Company Limited, Yaw Kwakwa, however, allayed such fears, and noted that 480 tests could be conducted within 15 minutes.
He also assured that his outfit that it has the capacity for any overflow of passengers.
“Within 15 minutes we can test about 480 people. So taking into consideration all the odds of the maximum number of passengers we can have at a time and other factors, we have more than enough capacity.”
But some concerned individuals have raised concerns indicating that the fee is too high and must be reviewed.
Deputy Health Minister Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye who explained the-150-dollar fee, noted that the amount was reasonable.
He also explained that the new arrangement was very prudent as compared to the previous arrangement where travellers had to pay for accommodation for two weeks to enable them quarantine for the period while awaiting their results.