The Health Ministry in a circular has directed all public health testing laboratories not to charge residents in Ghana for COVID-19 testing.
In a communiqué to all public health testing laboratories dated January 27, 2021, the ministry said it “has decided that public COVID-19 testing laboratories providing walk-in services can charge only charge travellers for testing”.
The ministry also said, “all other walk-in requests such as ill-health, contact tracing and exposure must be done free-of-charge using public health resources.”
There have been concerns over the cost of and access to testing amid a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Ghana.
For persons who are able to test, there are questions about the timelines for the delivery of test results.
The Ghana Health Services has said test results should be ready within 48 hours.
Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the service’s director said the average turnaround time for COVID-19 test results was 48 hours when he was interviewed on the City breakfast show on Wednesday.
But reports from some citizens have indicated otherwise.
The recent surge in infections has seen 616 new cases move Ghana up to 3,813 active cases from 1,330 cases on January 8.
The GHS has recorded 377 deaths from the virus out of 62,751 confirmed cases whilst 58,561 persons have recovered or have been discharged after infections.
Currently, all 16 regions in the country have registered Coronavirus cases with the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western, Eastern, and Central regions leading with the highest rate of infections.