As many as 75 persons who have tested positive for COVID-19, managed to enter Ghana on Saturday April 24, 2021, a dangerous development that threatens the country’s aggressive campaign against the spread of virus.
Barely a year ago precisely on Thursday March 12, 2020, Ghana recorded its first case of COVID-19 when just two persons entered the country with the virus.
A year down the line, the country is still sweating to fully contain the spread and this therefore makes it scary that 75 COVID positive persons have entered in just one day.
Managers of Ghana’s COVID-19 testing programme at the Kotoka International Airport, Frontiers Health Services, issued the alert over the weekend and raised red flags over what it described as “influx of positive cases into the country”
The alert, raised through a letter from Frontiers and addressed to the Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited, Yaw Kwakwa read in part:
“We write in reference to our letter dated 2st April 202 with the above subject to bring to your attention once again the unprecedented rate of positive cases being recorded at Kotoka International Airport.
“Today 24th of April 2021, we recorded seventy-five (75) positive cases. This exceeds the previous highest rate of forty-five (45) positive cases on the 21st of April 2021.
“We once again appeal to all stakeholders to implement stringent measures on the quality o the PCR results acceptable for entry into the Republic of Ghana. It has became imperative to implement new guidelines to curtail the influx of positive cases into the country”.
The letter was signed by Dr. Kudzo Seneadza, Managing Director of the company.
Meanwhile during same week, the Ministry of Health (MoH), had announced that it had implemented the digitization of COVID-19 test results for ease of verification prior to travel and upon arriving in the country. It said this would be done through the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Pan BIOS Consortium.
This was revealed in a statement signed by the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, on Tuesday, 20 April 2021.
According to a news statement signed by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, on Tuesday, 20 April 2021, Ghana has become the first country in ECOWAS to deploy this new digital system for l verification of COVID-19 PCR test results based on the African Union Trusted Travel and ECOWAS BIOMAS standard.
The Health Minister said “all travelers, Airlines and Diplomatic Missions, Port Health, COVID-19 testing laboratories and all other relevant stakeholders in Ghana are informed that only test results or certificates bearing Trusted Travel or BIOMARS codes will be considered valid for travel out of Ghana from 21st April 2021”,
He said the technology platform covers all the authorized COVID-19 PCR testing laboratories in the country and should help stop the circulation of fake test results, which if left unchecked would damage the country’s effort to reduce the spread the COVID-19 infection through Imported cases.
The statement further advised all travelers arriving in the country have been advised to use a tool made available through the UNDP-supported Global Haven partnership [www.globalhaven.org] for COVID-19 test results certificate verification.