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Ghana joins African Countries to Sign on to AU Covid Passport Scheme

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Ghana has joined the fast-growing list of countries using the African Union COVID-19 digital verification system, being promoted by the Africa CDC, at points of entry and exit.

The country’s health minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, says the technology platform powered jointly by the Ghanaian Health Service and the PanaBios consortium covers all the authorised COVID-19 PCR testing laboratories in the country and will stop the circulation of fake test results. It is also expected that such solutions will discourage fake vaccine records and usher in a continental e-health solution based on AU standards.

Agyeman-Manu says only test results or certificates bearing Trusted Travel or BIOMARS (An ECOWAS – WAHO platform) codes shall be considered valid for travel out of Ghana.

“Travelers arriving in the country must use the tool made available through the UNDP supported Global Haven Partnership for COVID-19 PCR test results certificate verification,” he added.

Kenya was among the first countries to adopt the platform that was launched in October 2020.

The portal’s key feature include information about the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements, a database of authorised laboratories and vaccination compliance information, as well as Africa CDC mutual recogition protocal for COVID-19 testing and results and vaccination certificates.

Powered technologically by the PanaBIOS Consortium and Econet Group as a public-private partnership with Africa CDC, according to the African Union Open Corridors framework, Trusted Travel is a top-class digital solution to support Member States in verifying COVID-19 test and vaccine certificates for travellers, thus helping harmonise entry and exit screening across the continent.

With thousands of labs, clinics, transport terminals and government departments now interconnected through a common African Union platform, and interlinked with global health providers with the backing of the UNDP, a global “health search engine” seems to be in the offing. Just as the likes of Google ended up impacting massively on multiple industries in the global economy, observers are keenly studying this new phenomenon of a global “health search engine” pioneered in Africa.

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