GHS, AfCFTA butt heads over Secretary-General’s ‘false-positive’ COVID-19 test

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The Ghana Health Service has refuted suggestions it produced a false positive COVID-19 result for the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) at the Kotoka International Airport.

It has thus urged the Secretary-General, Wamkele Mene, to remain in isolation for the mandated seven days.

The service in a statement said the “Secretary-General is to remain in isolation until the completion of the statutory 7-day isolation period and is discharged, as per the COVID-19 protocols issued by the President of the Republic.”

It was responding to a statement issued by the Secretariat of the ACFTA in this regard.

The Secretariat had said its Secretary-General, Wamkele Mene, would participate in upcoming events after independent PCR tests confirmed that he was issued with a false-positive COVID-19 test.

The Secretariat in the statement issued on April 27, 2021, said Mr. Mene undertook two independent tests, from two different private labs which returned negative results.

But the Service retorts that “any COVID-19 test conducted after the positive test at the airport, and not sanctioned by the case management team of the Ghana Health Service, is not recognized.”

The service further stressed that it expects “everybody living in the country, or intending to stay in the country, to strictly adhere to all laid down COVID-19 protocols to prevent any surge in cases.”

Find below the full statement

The attention of the Ghana Health Service has been drawn to a statement issued by the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which has been reproduced in sections of the media, suggesting that a FALSE POSITIVE COVID-19 result was produced for the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA at the Kotoka International Airport.

This is not accurate.

It would be recalled that on Ft September 2020, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, reopened the Kotoka International Airport, following its closure on 22′ March 2020. To reduce further importation of COVID-19 into the country, several measures were instituted at the airport. These included the presentation of a negative PCR test for COVID-19, which is not more than 72 hours old prior to departure to Ghana by all passengers, and a mandatory antigen test on arrival at the airport.

As at the 28th April, 2021, a total of 244,851 antigen tests have been conducted at the airport, yielding 1,639 COVID-19 positive cases. Out of these positive cases, Ghanaians account for 42%, whilst non-Ghanaians account for 58%.

However, since January 2021, as part of an enhanced protocol to avert further surges in cases and protect all persons living in Ghana, anybody who tests positive for COVID-19 at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is mandatorily isolated for seven (7) days at Government designated facilities or a hotel. The person is tested again and clinically assessed by the Ghana Health Service before he or she is discharged.

These protocols apply to all persons, except for some situations as determined by the Ghana Health Service. It is also note-worthy that any COVID-19 test conducted after the positive test at the airport, and not sanctioned by the case management team of the Ghana Health Service, is not recognized. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat is, thus, reminded that its Secretary-General is to remain in isolation until the completion of the statutory 7-day isolation period, and is discharged, as per the COVID-19 protocols issued by the President of the Republic. The Ghana Health Service wishes to assure Ghanaians and everybody living in the country that we are committed to ensuring their safety, especially during this period when a third wave of the pandemic is wreaking havoc in other countries. As such, we expect everybody living in the country, or intending to stay in the country, to strictly adhere to all laid down COVID-19 protocols to prevent any surge in cases.

Source: citinewsroom