In the coming weeks, digital PCR test certificates will be required from travelers coming to Ghana, those who fail to provide will not be allowed entry into the country.
This directive was given by the Port Health Authorities at the Kotoka International Airport, who say the move is part of wide-ranging adjustments to raise verification standards and cut out the incidents of fake PCR results submitted at the country’s entry point.
Kwaku Agyemang Manu, the Health Minister on April 21 announced that a digitization element has been incorporated in Ghana’s covid testing regime at the airport to fast track the process.
“The minister issued a communique that all test results must be digitised and so we have tablets that are used to verify whether the results arriving passengers are presenting are genuine,” Director of Port health at the airport said.
He noted, “the system has been designed such that it would flag suspicious results and that would give officials an indication that there is a problem with the results. We would then reach out to the mission in the departing country to verify if the result is from any of the accredited laboratories.”
But to step up the measure by another notch, Dr. Lawrence Lartey says passengers will be necessarily required to produce digital results in the coming weeks.
“In a week or two if you do not have a digital result, it would be difficult for you to enter the country.”
While the new measures are being rolled out, port health authorities say they are tracing passengers who arrived in Ghana between April 21 and 25 and testing them due to the alarming case spike during the period at the airport.
“The Ghana Health Service has mounted an aggressive response to the minor surge that we witnessed here. Various call centers have been activated and teams have gone out to do contact tracing.”
Dr. Lartey said, “most of the contacts have been reached and tested, while a travel advisory has been issued to all the passengers on the flights that arrived in Ghana from April 21 till 28, in case they feel any symptoms there are contacts they can reach.”
Even though the incidence of positive cases has reduced in the last few days, port authorities say the few confirmed positive passengers are taken to the Ga East Municipal hospital for further care, while those who test negative are advised to self-isolate at least for ten days upon arrival in Ghana.