File: A health worker checks the temperature of a traveller as part of the coronavirus screening procedure at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.

An advocacy group is demanding that government absorbs the Covid-19 testing cost at the airport for Ghanaian students returning home.

Research Centre for Policy Advocacy and Governance [ ReCPAG] says government must also subsidise the chargers for other Ghanaian citizens.

They say the Akufo-Addo government has been at the receiving end of numerous donations amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

“In as much as we credit government for this singular decision to reopen the airports, we also wish to state that, the unit cost of $150 per each PCR test is astronomical, insensitive and an attempt to cash-in on a pandemic whose ravages have been felt by all including our returning compatriots.

“Although government has mounted a strong, shocking defence of the charges, our case as a country could definitely not be relatively cheaper because passengers travelling to Egypt and from China are only required to pay a paltry $30 and $26 respectively as charges for the same Covid-19 PCR test whilst countries like India and Malaysia are paying far lesser,” the Executive Director of ReCPAG, Mumuni Believer Likpalmor said in a press release.

The statement, sighted by JoyNews, also urged the government to adopt the GeneXpert PCR testing method.

The group argued that the GeneXpert PCR testing method has an efficient sensitivity threshold rate with a lower turn-around-time and a test cost of US$20.

“This method has been championed by the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist over the period.

“The GeneXpert is a real-time PCR machine used for tuberculosis test, but the manufacturers in responding to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic developed reagent packages that could be used to test for Covid-19.

“The technology requires mixing the reagent (buffer) with the sample and slotting it into the machine to give the same quality of results using the same or even lower turnaround time,” the statement concluded.