The Minister for Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah, has revealed that had it not been the timely intervention of Frontiers Healthcare Services for the conduct of COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Ghana would have suffered more consequences than what it was witnessing today.
Testing of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Kotoka International Airport started on September 1, 2020, following the approval of the contract agreement between the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) and Frontiers Healthcare Services for the conduct of such exercise.
The measure was to curtail the importation of the novel coronavirus into the country through the KIA which is the foremost entry point by air passengers from various countries.
The strategy, according to government and health officials, was to test and isolate infected persons for treatment at various designated health facilities and isolation centers.
According to the Transport Minister, from September 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, a total number of 117,187 passengers came through the Kotoka International Airport out of which 704 persons tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
A total of 116,483 persons tested negative during the period under review.
To Hon. Asiamah, if Frontiers Healthcare Services had not been engaged by the Ghana Health Service with the Ghana Airports Company Limited providing them space at the Kotoka International Airport for the conduct of the exercise, the 704 persons who had tested positive would have entered into the country and spread the virus.
“Mr. Speaker, but for the intervention by the Ghana Airports Company Limited in collaboration with the Frontiers Healthcare Services at the Kotoka International Airport, the 704 positive cases detected would have infected a good number of Ghanaians if they found their way into various communities across the country”, he noted.
Hon. Asiamah made this observation when he appeared on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, June 10, 2021, to respond to an urgent question filed the Minority Leader, HarunaIddrisu.
The Minority Leader had sought to ask the Minister for Transport how much has accrued from the contract between the Ghana Airports Company Limited and Frontiers Healthcare Services for the conduct of COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport as at the end of December 2020, and what was the breakdown of the distribution/utilization of the said amount to respective contracting parties.
Ghana’s active cases currently stands at 1,092 with 40 new cases while confirmed cases stood at 94,369, according to data obtained from the Ghana Health Service.
A total number of 92,488 persons have recovered and or discharged with the West African country recording 789 death cases.
Commenting on the amount of money accrued from the contract during the period under review, Hon. Asiamah told the House that the total amount realized from the COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport was US$17,359,500.
Out of this amount, he said Frontiers Healthcare Services retained US$16,202,200 for its services while the Ghana Airports Company Limited received US$1,157,300 as royalties.
Per the contract agreement, the cost of testing a passenger is US$150.00 out of which US$140.00 is retained by Frontiers Healthcare Services as the service provider while US$10.00 is paid to the Ghana Airports Company Limited.
“A total number of 115,730 passengers paid for the testing while 1,457 passengers consisting of children between the age bracket of 5 to 12 years were exempted from paying for the testing”, Hon. Asiamah concluded.