The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has hinted at cutting out the Covid-19 test requirement at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) for persons who have been fully vaccinated.

This comes days after the Minority in Parliament called on government to ease the restrictions on land borders and make the test at the airport free for citizens.

In an interview with JoyNews, the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe, said a review that will soon be completed will grant exemption to individuals who are fully vaccinated.

“We have three layers; so we have people who have vaccinated, people who are carrying the PCR test and people who are testing at the airport. So all things being equal, there should be an incentive for fully vaccinated people.

“That is what we are talking about that those people are likely to be exempted when our figures keep on as low as it were. Our main focus is to enhance vaccination because vaccination gives us the best results that we need,” he said.

Calls for review of the PCR test

A pharmacist and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) Dr Kwame Sarpong Asiedu has called for a review of the mandatory PCR testing at the Kotoka International Airport and the ports.

He wants the testing to be restricted to only persons who have not received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccines.

“I don’t believe that for fully vaccinated people the PCR test entering Ghana is necessary and for the same people.

“I don’t believe having an antigen test at the port is necessary because the data suggests that for a fully vaccinated person even if they get infected the virus lasts up to five days,” he argued in an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Monday.

He contended that “the test is a way of putting an extra cost on people who are coming to invest in the economy.”

The testing regime at the airport and ports has been instituted as a measure to check the import of the Covid-19 cases into the country.

But former President John Mahama has described the process as an “inconvenience, a financial burden and unfair.”

In a Facebook post, Mr. Mahama revealed that when he traveled to London last month, he was not required to take a Covid-19 PCR test before boarding the British Airways flight.

However, when he was returning home, he was informed by the airline that he would have to take a PCR test before boarding the flight as a requirement.

He said, “It cost £90 to have the test done. I was also informed that I would not be checked in for the flight back unless I filled an online form and paid a fee of $50.”

He added that international arrivals, who are vaccinated “must book another $50 PCR test to be conducted on arrival in Accra.”

For the former President, it must not be the case that Ghanaians who have valid vaccination certificates cannot board flights back home without a £90 PCR test, and an additional $50 PCR test booking in Accra, particularly when the UK government considers the Ghanaian Covid-19 vaccination card internationally accepted and allows entry without any testing.