Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday warned airlines in the country that flouting government’s directive for Polymerized Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19 will attract sanctions.

“The airport authorities will continue to demand that passengers arriving in the country should be in possession of a 72-hour old negative PCR test, and we will continue to sanction airlines that flout this directive,” President Akufo-Addo said in his 19th update on Ghana’s enhanced response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“With the imposition of stringent testing measures at the airport, we have, so far, been able to detect 172 positive cases amongst some 54,000 arriving international passengers” the president noted in a televised address to the people of Ghana.

President Akufo-Addo in a televised address to the people of Ghana
President Akufo-Addo in a televised address to the people of Ghana

“The health authorities would intensify the follow up process of arriving passengers, even when they had tested negative to help ensure we have ruled out any possible infection that might have occurred during the period of embarkation and disembarkation”, President Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated.

He also urged the people to observe virus preventive measures such as use of masks, handwashing, use of sanitizers, and social distancing protocols.

“In recent weeks, however, we have observed a gradual change in the trajectory of the virus, with an increase in active cases from” the 398 cases recorded three weeks ago, to 1,139 active cases, as of Friday, Akufo-Addo said.

“These figures, obviously, give cause for concern, in view of what is happening in Europe and America, following the outbreak of a second wave of infections that is engulfing so many other countries,” he added.

“In the area of testing, I have tasked the Ministry of Health, through the Ghana Health Service (GHS), to liaise with all laboratories and testing facilities across the country to ensure that reporting procedures are ironed out and adhered to,” he said.

The President said the provision of adequate medicines, equipment, and personal protective equipment to enable health workers attend to home-based patients had also been guaranteed.

He said those who do not comply with COVID-19 protocols will face severe sanctions.

The president also urged political leaders to set example by wearing mask during the intensified political activities and rallies ahead of general elections slated for Dec. 7, 2020.

He said the Government, in trying to mitigate against the effects of the pandemic, had put in place a number of measures to cushion ordinary Ghanaians and businesses.

He said the Government had extended the policy of free access to water for all households across the country until December, as well as fully absorbing electricity bills for one million active lifeline customers for the same period.

President Akufo-Addo said the Communication Service Tax had also been reduced from nine percent to five per cent, effective September. Source: Africa6News