Trauma at KIA testing centre; how gov’t appointees are monetizing on COVID-19 to the detriment of Ghana’s image
It is a fact that the wake of the coronavirus pandemic really brought about devastating effects to many nations and their citizenry.
It is also a fact that as every coin has a head and tail so as it is with the virus’ effects, and people including government appointees are monetizing on it to the detriment of the country’s image.
The Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is one of the epicentres for many travellers in and out of the country, but in the wake of the pandemic, many travellers have complained about the ill-treatment and extortion at the airport by some COVID-19 team.
Travellers both foreigners and locals either leaving or coming into the country on daily basis and on their social media pages have expressed with disappointment the ill-treatment they usually receive from officials who are supposed to know better and upheld the dignity of the country will rather be indifferent.
Bernard Brako is a Ghanaian based in Ohio State in the United States of America, whose travelling wish to Ghana was to attend his son’s marriage ceremony which later turned out to be what he prayed never to experience again in the country.
Ben Brako as he is known is also a Ghanaian highlife artiste and arrived in Ghana on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021 to attend his son’s marriage ceremony the following Thursday.
But as the laws of the airport demand that every traveller must undergo antigen test so did Ben Brako get tested and was immediately informed of having COVID.
“…this was indeed a shock for me as I contracted the disease early this January in Ghana.
Fortunately, I recovered and returned to Ohio. Since then I took both shots of that Moderns vaccine and tested negative just a day before my trip.
Needless to say, I was forced into a bus to be taken to M-Plaza which turned out to be guarded by armed police and a soldier.
I tried everything to be retested at my own cost but to no avail”, he narrated.
Indeed, as part of measures to combat the virus, the government of Ghana through the ministry of health gave a directive that any person(s) entering or leaving the country at the point of departure should have an antigen test to confirm or otherwise.
Kotoka International Airport (KIA) being the largest centre of travellers, vigorous measures according to the health ministry were taken to combat the virus including mandatory quarantine for a minimum of three days if a person tested positive.
After the three days, the person will therefore be allowed to do another test to confirm or otherwise.
Ben Brako whose purpose was to attend his son’s marriage ceremony was later turned upside down because of the three days mandatory quarantine.
“…I missed my son’s marriage ceremony. On the next day which was Friday, I tested negative to the antigen test and was released on the same day.”
But, what happened to Ben Brako during his quarantine period begged for answers.
Mr Ben Brako narrated that the room he was asked to stay in was dirty, unhygienic dump with no cleaning and the water was so dirty.
“…nobody cleaned the rooms or changed beddings. The food was atrocious, and services were just not part of the deal. Many of the foreign visitors were so disgusted by the treatment that they went straight back to the airport to go back home and forfeit their trip into Ghana.
More than half of the inmates tested negative after the first 3 days. The entire experience is very disgusting, and I am ashamed of the attitude of the government in Ghana.
Shame shame shame, shameless greedy bastards milking their own people in an ongoing pandemic.
It’s a sad indictment on the government that their appointees need to monetize the pandemic to the detriment of the reputation of the country.
Even the fact of giving the airport COVID-19 testing to a private firm instead of the NHS beggars belief.”
The Musician is not the only one who has experienced such trauma at the airport or M-Plaza but many, and his beneath questions are questions that many Ghanaians are asking the government.
Again, many are asking why will the government allowed officials at KIA to select M-Plaza as the quarantine centre where a person will have to pay Ghc340.00 per night with little amenities for personal hygiene.
However, reports have it that the owner of the M-Plaza is for one Mr Fred Oware, Chief Executive of the Bui Power Authority (BPA).
Mr Oware is currently the New Patriotic Party’s second vice-chairman.
The coronavirus pandemic cannot be entirely be fought and won if authorities continue to look on and disregard people’s plight.