The Akufo Addo administration has been forced to make COVID-19 testing free-of-charge for all Ghanaians, except those travelling outside or into the country.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, the Ministry of Health wrote: “The Ministry of Health has decided that Public Covid-19 testing laboratories providing walk-in services can charge ONLY TRAVELLERS for testing. All other walk-in requests such as ill-health, contact tracing and exposure must be done free-of-charge using public health resources.”
The Government intends to strictly enforce this directive by warning all public health laboratories that they are to “take note and comply”.
The statement was issued by Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, the Chief Director for the Minister of Health.
This directive is coming after serious allegations have been levelled against some staff of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) who are reportedly conducting fake COVID-19 tests to extort money from unsuspecting individuals, particularly travellers.
On January 12, 2021, one Kofi Acheampong, who lives in the United Kingdom made a viral audio and attached evidence to show how the NMIMR extorted money from him by claiming he tested positive for COVID-19.
Narrating his ordeal, Mr. Acheampong said he needed to make the trip to the UK urgently, but was devastated when his obligatory pre-flight COVID-19 test result from MMIMR came out Positive.
He said he was devastated and the staff at the Noguchi labs noticing his distress, approached him to make him an offer that if he paid GHC 500 his test result will be switched to Negative.
Mr. Acheampong said he had no choice but to comply. However, upon reaching London, he sought a second medical opinion and undertook another COVID-19 test. That was when he realised he had been swindled because the result in the UK showed he was COVID-19 Negative.
Whatsup News has picked up reliable information that these fake COVID-19 tests have become a massive cash cow in both public and private laboratories in Ghana.
Whatsup News is still following several leads to these reports.
Meanwhile, the directive for free COVID-19 testing in Ghana is coming on the heels of a request from the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to the government asking for several interventions, including the institution of free public testing for coronavirus infections.
Ghana has confirmed cases of 62,751 with 377 deaths and 58,561 recoveries
Source: WhatsApp news