Covid-19 testing: Extortion at KIA must stop – Ablakwa

The MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described the current charges for Covid-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport for international arrivals as extortion.

According to Mr. Ablakwa, Frontline Healthcare Service Limited with support from the incumbent government is extorting money from ECOWAS nationals and non-ECOWAS nationals by charging them $50 and $150 respectively.

Speaking to JoyNews, he said such actions should be stopped.

“One of the cardinal expectations I have for 2022 which is a view shared by many is that the extortion going on at the Kotoka International Airport by Frontline Healthcare Services Limited which is fully supported by the Akufo-Addo administration, that extortion must stop.

Charging $50 for ECOWAS nationals and $150 for non-ECOWAS nationals for one antigen test, not a PCR test must stop.”

He added that “all over the world, we are witnessing a drastic decline in the cost of these tests” but “Ghana has been at this for almost 2 years.”

Mr Ablakwa is of the view that the current charges are a major disincentive.

“It is such an exorbitant extortionist rate that cannot be allowed to continue,” he stressed.

The North Tongu legislator disclosed that should government fail to provide a review by the end of February on the cost of Covid-19 testing at the airport, stringent actions will be taken to force its hands.

“It is our expectation that latest by February, we should see a drastic review. If not, we will be compelled to take a series of actions to force the hand of government to stop this extortion at the airport,” he said.

In February last year, amidst the second wave of Covid-19 in the country, management of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) revised its safety measures that must be strictly observed by passengers traveling to Ghana.

The new safety guidelines took effect from Monday, February 8, 2021.

The cost of PCRs was now US$50 for Ghanaians and ECOWAS citizens and US$150 for all other passengers.

Payment for these tests was to be done online before arrival at