Government has through the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, urged Ghanaians not to travel to COVID-19-ravaged countries until further notice.
The Ministry in an advisory issued yesterday said if the trips are non-essential, they could be cancelled or delayed due to the alarming rate of infection in Asia and South America.
Countries including India and Brazil have been ravaged by COVID-19 with hundreds of thousands of their citizens succumbing to the pandemic.
Government said it has outlined stipulated guidelines for essential travels to and from any of these countries.
The advisory said in addition to already existing COVID-19 protocols, all travellers leaving or arriving in Ghana are to note that only test results or certificates bearing trusted travel or biomars codes will be considered valid.
Furthermore, travellers are to sign up for accounts on trustedtravels.panabios.org with the same email address and mobile numbers provided to laboratories during testing.
“Travellers arriving Ghana are to use a tool made available through the UNDP-Supported Global Haven Partnership COVID-19 PCR test results certification verification.
“All arriving passengers who test negative for COVID-19 at the airport are encouraged to self-isolate for ten days” while “all passengers arriving from designated COVID-19 hotspots and testing negative at the airport may be subjected to a repeat test on the third day of arrival at their cost”.
Pressure group OccupyGhana, recently suggested that the government of Ghana restrict travels to and from COVID-19 hotspot countries and also prosecute travellers found to have acquired fake test results.
The group in a statement expressed alarm about the high number of COVID-19-positive arrivals at the Kotoka International Airport.
Frontiers Health Services, managers of Ghana’s COVID-19 airport testing programme, recently raised concerns about the high rate of positive cases arriving in the country at the airport.
The company, in a letter dated April 24, 2021 and addressed to the Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited, Yaw Kwakwa, said it recorded 75 positive cases, which was the highest daily number of positive COVID-19 cases at the airport.
This preceded the previous highest rate of 45 cases.
The company appealed to stakeholders to implement stringent measures on the quality of PCR results acceptable for entry into the country.
Consequently, OccupyGhana implored that, “As a matter of urgency, we must identify the high-risk countries and restrict travel to and from them”, the think-tank suggested, adding that, “Citizens and residents of Ghana may be allowed entry, only if they test negative at KIA and are mandatorily quarantined for at least 10 days at their own cost”.
The civil society group also urged the government to provide incentives to hotels to accept passengers from high-risk countries for quarantine.
“Travellers must pay hotel quarantine bills in full, prior to travel…Without exception, all travellers who test positive must be sent to a GHS-designated isolation facility as per our protocols for further clinical assessment and treatment. A negative PCR test must be repeated after Day 5. The passenger may be de-isolated following 2 negative tests”.
OccupyGhana also called for the prosecution of “travellers who are proven to have flown in with forged PCR results”.
“It is our fervent hope that the authorities will consider these matters and accept these suggestions as we continue to battle this virus and protect one another from infections”, the group noted.