Ghanaian evacuees from Lebanon going through immigration checks at the Kotoka international Airport in Accra

Dr Lawrence Lartey, Director of Port Health at the Kotoka International Airport, says measures are in place to halt the importation of COVID-19 cases into the country through the Airport.

“We have our laid down rules and regulations and we are working hand in hand with the relevant agencies to ensure that there is a limitation of the transmission of the virus by persons who travel in and out of the country,” he said.

Dr Lartey told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that Port Health was not compromising on the Guidelines for International Flight Operations on COVID-19 Safety at the KIA, which was generating positive feedbacks from international community since its operationalisation in September 2020.

He said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) had begun investigations into the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases recoded at the KIA from April 21 to 24 to ascertain what happened and said while they awaited the findings, Port Health was not losing its guard.

Dr Lartey said presently “the number of coronavirus cases recorded at the KIA has reduced drastically as no COVID-19 cases were recorded by the Port Health between April 27 and 29.”

He said his outfit would keep testing all passengers who arrived at the Airport to ensure that Ghana did not experience any wave, noting that the COVID-I9 Antigen test structure for passengers had not changed.

“All passengers who arrived in Ghana are expected to come along with a PCR test results, which is not more than 72 hours old after which they are made to fill a health declaration form for another COVID test to be done by the Port Health,” he said.

Dr Lartey said passengers who tested positive to the coronavirus on arrival were sent to a holding area at the KIA to receive counselling and support before other processes.

He said to maintain uniformity in the protocols, results on any COVID-19 test at the KIA not sanctioned by GHS was not recognised for any action.

“If we sanction the test, we will take actions based on the results accordingly, but if any passenger goes out of their way to do an independent test, GHS will not take any decision based on the independent test results,” he said.

Dr Lartey entreated the public to have confidence in the system and approach being used by Port Health for the good of all.

Frontiers Healthcare Services, managers of Ghana’s COVID-19 testing programme at the Kotoka International Airport, in a letter to the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, drew attention to the high number of COVID-19 cases recorded at the Airport about two weeks ago.

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director General of the GHS said the high numbers detected justified the setting up of the facility to test all passengers arriving in the country.

The Minority in Parliament, in a reaction, urged government to place a temporary ban on flights from COVID-19 hotspot countries until the high record of COVID-19 cases reduced in those countries go down.

As of April 29 this year, a total of 1,639 COVID-19 cases have been detected at the Kotota International Airport.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.


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