COVID-19: $150/passenger PCR test fee OK – Oko-Boye

The government of Ghana has said the $150-per-passenger fee to be charged by the Ghana Airport Company per passenger for a 30-minute PCR test at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is reasonable.

Deputy Health Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Oko-Boye explained to journalists at a press conference on Monday, 31 August 2020 that: “As a ministry and a government who are stakeholders in the management of COVID-19, we were very much interested in the cost of the test”.

“We wanted to make sure that the cost of the test will not put an unnecessary burden on the passenger.

“So, we quickly looked at what is being charged across the globe”.

Comparing what happens in Ghana to what pertains in other countries, Dr Oko-Boye said: “When you go to a place like Zimbabwe, you will pay about $210 for the test”.

“In China, you will pay about $150 for the test.

“In Togo and Benin you will pay about 150 euros and in Nigeria, it is 130 dollars but you will have to go to a hotel and lodge till the results are ready.

“With the turnaround time and accuracy of the test assured, we had to decide whether the $150 was enough to cover all the expenses. We finally agreed to peg it at that for now.”

President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the reopening of the airport in his 16th COVID-19 address on Sunday, 30 August 2020.

The Ghana Airport Company has indicated that it expects a total of 1,200 passengers at peak times but has given the assurance that it can conduct 480 tests in 15 minutes and, thus, capable of handling the traffic.

The Managing Director of GACL, Mr Yaw Kwakwa, told journalists that: “Within 15 minutes, we can test about 480 people, so, taking into consideration all the odds of the maximum number of passengers we can have at a time and other factors, we have more than enough capacity.”

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