Sunday, 20th September, President Akuffo Addo in his 17th address to the nation on the coronavirus update disclosed that 16 out of the 23 airlines that operated at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) before its closure during the pandemic have begun operations, since the country eased restrictions on air travel on September 1.
“As at yesterday, Saturday, 19th September, a total of ten thousand and sixty-one (10,061) passengers have been tested at Kotoka,” President Akuffo Addo said.
With passenger flight returning to normalcy, the government set into motion preventive and control protocols that will curb the importation of the virus into the country. Among the preventive and control protocols included a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests which all passengers must be in possession. Hence the Business of Ghana’s airline industry has commenced after the shut down due to Covid-19.
Progress so far
In his address, President Akuffo Addo made it known that despite the possession of a negative PCR test, out of the total 10,061 passengers, a total of twenty-six (26) positive cases were recorded from the tests at Kotoka International Airport.
“As at yesterday, Saturday, 19th September, a total of ten thousand and sixty-one (10,061) passengers have been tested at Kotoka. In spite of the requirement that all passengers must be in possession of a negative PCR test result upon their arrival in Ghana, a test which should have been conducted not more than seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin, a total of twenty-six (26) positive cases have been recorded from the tests at KIA,” President Akuffo said.
“Let us pause for a moment and imagine what would have happened if these twenty-six (26) positives had not been detected, and had been allowed to mingle with the population.” He further added.
Having been able to detect these positive cases with the US$150.00 mandatory COVID-19 test per passenger at KIA, President Akuffo praised the accuracy and efficiency of the tests despite the cost criticism.
“Even though the cost of one hundred and fifty United States dollars (US$150) per passenger, for the mandatory airport COVID test, has been criticized in certain quarters, the value of the test in its speed, accuracy, and savings for passengers, who no longer have to bear the cost of the 14-day mandatory quarantine in hotels, has been clearly established.” Akuffo Addo said.
Services at KIA widely praised
He also made it known that the services offered at the Kotoka International Airport have been widely praised by passengers.
“It is worth noting that a lot of people, who have experienced at first hand the service being offered at our international airport, have praised the country for the innovation and farsightedness on display at our airport,” he said.
In assuring to protect Ghanaians from the importation of the virus, President Akuffo Addo pledged his commitment to protecting Ghanaians and stop the virus from being imported.
” Let me assure you again, that as President of the Republic, I will do everything in my power to protect you and stop the importation of the virus into our country, or limit and contain its spread. This is my solemn commitment to you,” he pledged.
In keeping to this pledge, President Akuffo Addo, reminded Ghanaians of the mandatory mask-wearing until 14th December 2020. This is enforceable by law.
“On Monday, 14th September, I extended, by Executive Instrument, the mandatory wearing of face masks by another three (3) months. So, until 14th December 2020, the wearing of masks remains mandatory, and the law enforcement agencies will be required to ensure this directive is respected by all. It has served us well in the fight against COVID-19, so I urge each and every one of us to wear our masks, and do so correctly anytime we leave our homes,” he said.
“It is the new normal requirement of our daily existence until the virus disappears.” He further added.