All COVID-19 restrictions at Kotoka International Airport removed

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has urged the country to remove all existing COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

This comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended countries lift their existing COVID-19 travel restrictions.

According to WHO, the countries could exacerbate economic and social stress related to the pandemic.

It said COVID-19 was no longer a public health emergency of international concern.

Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Health Service lifting the restrictions in Accra said the decision was also justified by the fact that there had been a sustained decline in COVID-19 cases in the country over the past five months.

He said that based on the global and national situation, it was decided at the last national COVID-19 Task Force meeting on May 17, 2023, that: “Pre-departure testing and test at all points of entry are no more a requirement for all passengers”, while from May 20, 2023, “COVID-19 health declaration form for international travellers has been suspended.”

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye, however, noted that some laid-down interventions such as the national vaccination drive would continue to allow for constant vigilance and protect the population from COVID-19 infections.

COVID-19 guidelines for passengers

He said persons with symptoms of fever, cough, and sore throat would be tested for both flu and COVID-19 at the GHS’s sentinel sites across all 16 regions.

In a letter, GHS said surveillance will continue to help us identify any new COVID-19 variants of concern.

The public has been urged to maintain general safety measures like hand washing with soap and water or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Persons with complaints of fever, cough, and sore throat should report to the nearest health facility for management.

It stated that Ghana has had outbreaks of Marburg virus disease, Lassa fever, monkeypox, measles, and yellow fever since the declaration of COVID-19 as public health emergency of public concern.

It noted that the health system in the country had maintained sufficient capacity in the midst of these threats.

It said the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service with support from its partners would continue to ensure operational readiness and flexibility to respond during surges of COVID-19.

It said the GHS would also maintain other essential health services.

It said as of May 15, 2023, there were only 18 active cases none of which was severe or critical adding that the only covid-19 death in 2023 was in January.

The letter noted that since January 2023, there had been 187,089 international passengers arriving in the country of which more than 98 percent were either fully vaccinated or persons below 18 years of age who were exempted from testing based on the national guide.

As a result, it said only 3,890 were required to be tested out of which 24 tested positive.

It continued that as of May 19, 2023, more than 13.5 million had received at least a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine whilst 10.5 million persons were fully vaccinated, and 4.5 million persons had taken the vaccine.



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