At least 92 travelers have tested positive for COVID-19 at Ghana’s airport, President Akufo-Addo has disclosed.
“It has been six weeks since the reopening, and a total of thirty thousand, five hundred and sixty-four (30,564) passengers have been tested, from which ninety-two (92) have tested positive”, the President said in his 18th address to the Nation since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ghana in March 2020.
At least 37 of the number have recovered from the virus while the remaining are being monitored by medics, the Ghana Health Service further noted.
Three-day PCR negative test still stands
Though the country had tightened protocols at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to prevent the importation of the virus, concerns have been raised about the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) negative test as many travelers want the duration increased from three to five days.
During his speech, however, the President said the duration still stands.
Justifying further, the president said in the case of all tests conducted at the airport “all 92 are asymptomatic cases, whose status but for the test, would not have been detected, and would have spread the disease amongst the rest of the population”.
“Fellow Ghanaians, we all know that the emergence of the virus on our shores came from abroad, necessitating the closure of our borders, by land, air, and sea, in March 2020. Following the provision of testing facilities, which ensure the speed and accuracy of COVID-19 testing, Kotoka International Airport was reopened on 1st September 2020.
“I am aware that some are calling for Government to extend the PCR negative test period before boarding the flight from three (3) days to at least five (5) days. I believe, in the context of the second wave of infections that is engulfing so many countries of Europe and America, that we have to insist on the three (3) day period. It is better to be safe than sorry” President Akufo-Addo noted.
On the economic front, President Akufo-Addo indicated that according to the Bank of Ghana, “the Ghanaian economy is recovering faster than initially anticipated.” Consumer confidence, he said, “is bouncing back strongly, and is today above pre-lockdown levels”.
“Business confidence has also increased, reflecting the improving macroeconomic conditions, stability in the exchange rate, lower input prices, moderation in lending rates, and positive industry prospects. Consumer spending, industrial consumption of electricity, and construction activities have all reached pre-lockdown levels, whilst tourist arrivals and port harbor activity are gradually edging upwards,” the President posited.
The President observed that despite his government’s and the Nation’s success in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus remains something of a mystery, and we should always rather err on the side of caution, and continue to observe the protocols that have brought us to where we are.
“So, I urge all of you, my fellow Ghanaians, to continue to comply with the strict hygiene, mask-wearing and social distancing protocols that have become part of our daily routines. This is the surest way by which we can defeat the virus, and avoid a second wave of infections,” the President said.
“The outlook on our battle against COVID-19 remains optimistic, for which we thank God and you, the Ghanaian people. It is important that we maintain this positive position, especially with a few weeks to the holding of the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections” President Akufo-Addo added.
Ghana’s COVID-19 Case count
As at today, Sunday 18th October 2020, the number of active cases stands at three hundred and ninety-eight (398), with forty-six thousand, six hundred and sixty-four (46,664) persons fully recovered from the virus, putting our recovery rate at 98.5%. The total number of deaths, tragically, stands at three hundred and ten (310), out of a total number of five hundred and ten thousand, and seventy-four (510,074) persons tested. The rate of death, 0.5%, continues to remain very low.