President Akufo-Addo says the three-day restriction for a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result that all individuals seeking to travel to Ghana have to obtain before their trip will remain, despite calls to loosen the timelines for the test to five days.
The president made this known in his 18th address to the nation on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) since the outbreak of the disease in Ghana in March 2020.
“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 1 September 2020. It has been six weeks since the reopening, and a total of 30,564 passengers have been tested, from which 92 have tested positive,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Providing further details, the president said that “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”.
“I am aware that some are calling for the government to extend the PCR negative test period before boarding the flight from three days to at least five 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-day period. It is better to be safe than sorry,” he declared.
Economic recovery unfurls
On the economic front, President Akufo-Addo welcomed the latest forecasts from 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, while tourist arrivals and port harbour activity are gradually edging upwards,” the president said.
Observe COVID-19 protocols
President Akufo-Addo remarked that in spite of his government’s and the nation’s success in fighting COVID-19, the virus itself remains something of a mystery. Ghanaians should always err on the side of caution, he advised, and continue to observe the protocols which 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,” the president said.
As of today, Sunday 18 October 2020, the number of active cases stands at 398, with 46,664 people fully recovered from the virus, putting Ghana’s recovery rate at 98.5%.
The sad total number of deaths stands at 310, out of a total 510,074 individuals tested. The rate of death, 0.5%, remains very low.
Click on the link to listen to President Akufo-Addo
Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio