If players in the aviation, immigration and health sector firm up government’s decision to re-opening of the borders – hopefully by September 1 as the President stated – any person who tests positive on arrival into Ghana and asked to self-quarantine may be required to wear a tracking device. The move is to afford the state the ability to ensue proper monitoring of such person to curtail any possibility of a surge in COVID-19 cases due to importation of cases.
Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, made made this known in a statement on how the country wants to digitally track all travelers and ensure proper tracking of movements in and out of public place which have been zones as hot spots, which include conferences, hotels, churches, restaurants and pubs.
“Wearable quarantine monitoring devices may also be introduced to facilitate effective monitoring and supervision of those undergoing self-quarantine and protect health care workers and other critical staff from COVID hotspots,” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful intimated.
The minister also noted that, the cost of the monitoring device is to be borne by government. “These new digital services shall be delivered at no cost to citizens or related government agencies as a result of collaboration with technology companies, telecom operators and technical institutions. All citizens and organisations are hereby strongly encouraged to cooperate and comply to guarantee the safe reopening of Ghana to the rest of the world.”
Meanwhile, airline operators have made a case for a quick testing result regime to accompany the announcement of the re-opening of the air borders. According to them, a good balance is needed between customer comfort and the ability to significantly reduce the incidence of imported COVID-19 cases.
Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has also revealed government’s plan to roll out a new COVID-19 testing system where results would be generated to travelers within 15 minutes. This would determine whether the person would be asked to self-quarantine or sent to a treatment center to receive the necessary health attention.
He said the Ghana Health Service is currently conducting some simulations to ascertain the ability of the system to test as many people that would come into the country when the air borders are opened to traffic. These simulations are being done in collaboration with the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
“The Ghana Health Service is doing a simulation of various testing options to convince the president that we have the ability to test every one of the 3,500 people we expect to be coming into the country in a day,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said.