Panafrican News Agency

Coronavirus: Ghana resumes domestic flights with strict health safety protocols

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - Domestic flights have resumed in Ghana as the country slowly eases some restrictions imposed to contain the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The local media reported that the first domestic flights took off on Sunday after the Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi airports were disinfected last week.

The reports said turnout on the first day of flights was high with two domestic airlines - Africa World Airlines and Passion Air - saying their flights were fully booked.

“All our flights today (Sunday) are sold out,” the Chief Operations Officer of Africa World Airlines Sean Mendis, was quoted as saying.

“Our flight to Tamale today was full,” said Samuel Takyi, the Marketing and Sales Manager of Passion Airlines.  

Protocols such as mandatory wearing of a nose mask, the use of hand sanitisers, observing social distancing in check-in queues and sitting arrangements at the boarding areas have been put in place.

On board, middle row seats have been left vacant to ensure social distancing but the price of tickets have remained the same.

“The intention at this point is that passengers will not have a seat next to each other. However, children will be allowed to sit next to their parents or guardians. At this time we will be observing the situation but the prices of tickets will not change,” said Mendis.

The Deputy Minister for Aviation Yaw Afful, said the enhanced safety protocols have been implemented at all the regional airports.

The country's borders remain closed, schools, churches and mosques are shut, public gatherings are banned and there are strict health instructions, including the wearing of the face masks, washing of hands and use of sanitisers.

Public transport has been running but with social distancing measures which have effectively slashed the number of passengers carried by the vehicles.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently lifted a partial lockdown on Accra, Tema, Kumasi and two townships in the Greater Accra Region following loud complaints by the public in those areas, especially workers in the informal sector.

But the lifting of the partial lockdown has been criticised by sections of the public who say it was ill-advised as cases have continued to rise. Ghana, as at Saturday, has 2,169 positive cases, 229 recoveries and 18 deaths.

-0- PANA MA 4May2020