Ghana suspends COVID-19 health declaration form for international travellers

The COVID-19 health declaration form for international travellers to Ghana has been suspended with effect from May 20, 2023.

Also, pre-departure testing and tests at all points of entry are no longer a requirement for all passengers.

These were contained in a letter addressed to all media houses with the headline “lifting of COVID-19 restrictions at all points of entry in Ghana” and signed by Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director General of the Ghana Health Service.

According to the letter, these decisions were taken at a National COVID-19 Task Force meeting held on 17th May 2023, on the global and national COVID-19 situation.

The letter said for constant vigilance of protection of persons from COVID-19, the following measures were to be maintained.

It noted that the COVID-19 vaccination drive would continue and persons with symptoms of cough, fever and sore throat would be tested for both flu and COVID-19 at all sentinel sites across all the 16 regions of the country.

“Surveillance will continue to help us identify any COVID-19 variants of concern.

“Persons with complaints of fever, cough or sore throat should report to the nearest health facility for management,” the letter advised.

It said persons who tested positive for COVID-19 were to be managed with existing protocols.

The letter intimated that Ghana has had outbreaks of Marburg virus disease, Lassa fever, monkeypox, measles, and yellow fever since the declaration of COVID-19 as public health emergency of public concern.

It noted that the health system in the country had maintained sufficient capacity in the midst of these threats.

It said the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service with support from its partners would continue to ensure operational readiness and flexibility to respond during surges of COVID-19.

It said the GHS would also maintain other essential health services.

According to the letter, the World Health Organization announced on May 5, 2023, that COVID-19 was no longer a Public Health Emergency International Concern (PHEIC) globally.

It said there were decreasing number of deaths and hospitalization with levels of population immunity against SARS Co.v-2.

It noted that though covid-19 remained a global health threat, it was time for countries to transition from emergency mode to managing covid-19 alongside other infectious diseases.

The letter revealed that there had been a sustained decline in COVID-19 cases in the country over the last five months.

It said as of May 15, 2023, there were only 18 active cases none of which was severe or critical adding that the only covid-19 death in 2023 was in January.

The letter noted that since January 2023, there had been 187,089 international passengers arriving in the country of which more than 98 per cent were either fully vaccinated or persons below 18 years of age who were exempted from testing based on the national guide.

As a result, it said only 3,890 were required to be tested out of which 24 tested positive.

It continued that as of May 19, 2023, more than 13.5 million had received at least a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine whilst 10.5 million persons were fully vaccinated, and 4.5 million persons had taken the vaccine.

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