Children between the ages of five and 12 years will now be required to undergo a mandatory Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) screening upon arrival at Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

Per the new directive children who fall in this age bracket would not be required to pay any fee for the test. However, children below five years are exempted from the test at the airport.

Other passengers outside this age bracket must pay $150 for the antigen test carried out at the upper arrival hall of the Terminal Three of KIA by Frontier Health Care.

The directive by the management of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) is part of the enhance measures by the government to ensure the fight against the spread of the virus through importation is prevented.

The updated COVID-19 guidelines for KIA published by GACL which takes effect on November 16 indicted that “children between the ages of five and 12 years will undergo testing on arrival free of charge.”

Increasing cases

The decision to include children in the age bracket indicated follows rising positive COVID-19 cases recorded among in-bound passengers at KIA and within the general population.

Imported cases of COVID-19, detected by screening all arriving passengers, has gone up by 87 per cent, increasing from 92 to 172 between mid-October and November 6.

A total of 54,000 arriving international passengers had been screened with 172 positive cases recorded as of November 6.

Arrival

KIA on September 1, was reopened for commercial and international passenger flights, five months after it closed its gates to the world as part of the restrictions on movement to contain the spread of the virus in the country.

Upon arrival, passengers who are required to pay $150 for the COVID-19 test online prior to arrival in Ghana, have their receipts verified before proceeding to the sampling cubicles located at upper arrival of terminal for their samples to be taken.

Results are transmitted electronically to Port Health in the main arrival hall.

At the arrival hall, passengers will be screened at one of the Port Health stations and results of their COVID-19 tests made known to them.

Arriving passengers who test negative will then proceed to immigration and onto baggage claim for their luggage and then exit the terminal.

Positive cases will receive further clinical assessment and treatment.

The directive

Under the new direct, passengers must wear face mask appropriately (extending from the middle nasal bridge to halfway between the chin and the neck) and are advised to regularly use any of the hand sanitising stations provided in the terminal.

It also indicated that passengers transiting and transferring through Accra will not be required to take the COVID-19 test in Accra.

“Transit passengers will be required to adhere to COVID-19 testing requirements for the destination countries.

“Airline crew are exempted from the pre-departure and arrival COVID-19 testing and should follow the Airline policy for testing.”

The updated COVID-19 guidelines for KIA also directed departing passengers to adhere to COVID-19 testing requirements for the destination countries.

“Departing passengers will undergo temperature screening at the entrance of Terminal Three departures. Only passengers and persons with business in the terminal will be allowed entry.”

Source: graphic.com.gh