Government says it may consider a possible review of the $150 (¢868) cost for Covid-19 testing for travelers coming into Ghana if the need be.
According to the Deputy Minister for Aviation, Yaw Maama Afful, options including government subsidizing the testing fees or a review are on the table for consideration.
Yaw Afful who doubles as Member of Parliament for Jaman South was speaking Wednesday with Akua Boakyewaa Yiadom on Adom FM’s current affairs show, Burning Issues.
When asked if the testing fee will be reviewed following public outcry of the cost, the Deputy Minister responded “I believe so. As we move along maybe we can review it but as I sit here I don’t have any power to say we will review it today or tomorrow but it could be.”
“The government can decide to take an ‘X’ cedis or dollars from the entire amount” Yaw Afful emphasized.
President Akufo-Addo in his 16th address to the nation on measures taken to contain Covid-19 announced the re-opening of the Kotoka International Airport effective, September 1, 2020, to allow travellers into the country.
Following the President’s announcement, the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Yaw Kwakwa at a joint press briefing announced that all travellers arriving in Ghana by air will pay $150 for a Covid-19 test as part of measures to control the spread of the virus in the country.
The mandatory testing, which is to be conducted for all passengers coming into the country forms part of directives outlined by the Ministry of Aviation and Health to ensure that the deadly disease is not imported into the country.
The $150 test fee announced at the press briefing was greeted with anger from both Ghanaians home and abroad with a call on government to review the price.
Some groups including the Bureau of Public Safety are also asking government to scrap the entire fee.
But responding to the public concerns, Yaw Afful said all options are on the table including reducing the fees.
He, however, denied claims that government is taking a percentage out of the $150 testing fee, adding that the fee charged at the airport goes directly to the company administering the test.
Commenting on the re-opening of Ghana’s airport to travellers, Yaw Afful said the government is satisfied with the progress made at the airport despite the initial hiccups.