Falsification of coronavirus test results untrue – Noguchi
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) has refuted the allegation on social media about falsification of COVID-19 testing results at the centre.
According to the Institute, claims by one Kofi Acheampong in an audio alleging that he had to pay an extra fee of 500 ghana cedis to change a COVID-19 test from positive to negative ro enable him travel to the United Kingdom (UK) is false.
Therefore urged the general public to disregard audio recording of Kofi Acheampong circulating on social media.
With regards to the positive result of Mr. Kofi Acheampong, addressing a press briefing at the premises of the Center on Wednesday, 3rd March,2021, the Director of the Research Institute Professor Abraham Kwabena Anang admitted that Mr. Kofi Acheampong’s positive result circulated on social media is valid.
However, there was no evidence in the NMIMR data and reporting system for the generation of another negative result for him.
This comes after a five member Committee was instituted by Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in consultation with the University of Ghana to conduct internal investigations into the allegations at the institute which was also investigated by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB).
On 15th January, 2021, the University of Ghana, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), received reports of the circulation of a controversial audio recording on social media.
The audio message was from an individual alleging that he was requested by British Airways (BA) to obtain a COVID-19 test reault for his travel to the United Kingdom (UK).
On 10th January, 2021, Kofi Achemapong therefore visited the Noguchi Centre ro takeva COVID-19 test, which turned out positive when he returned to collect his result on the 12th Januaey, 2021.
However, he alleged that an hour after taking the positive result, he received a phone call from someone at NMIMR who told him that the positive result could be changed to negative for a fee of GHS500.00 to enable him to travel.
Acheampong further alleged that he went back to NMIMR, where he was issued a negative COVID-19 test result after paying the agreed fee.
He said on arrival in the UK he took another COVID-19 test, three days after the NMIMR test, which turned out negative and accused staff of the Institute for falsifying his test results to exploit him.
Meanwhile, Professor Annag explained that the NMIMR‘s internal investigations revealed that on 10th January 2021, at 11:40 am, an individual by the name Kofi Acheampong was sampled for COVID-19test at the walk-in testing station at a fee of GHS350.00.
He said his report was signed and collected on January 12.
“Scientifically, it is possible for a person to test positive for COVID-19 and convert to a negative status within a few days, the technical data from Mr Acheampong’s COVID-19 test gave a cycle threshold (Ct) value of 36.12, which suggested that his viral load was low, or he was on the path to recovery,” he said.
Prof. Annang said external investigations from the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) also showed that contrary to his claims, Acheampong did not receive a phone call from anyone at NMIMR promising to change the test results, he also did not return to NMIMR after he left the place on 12th January, 2021.
Similarly, apart from his positive Covid-19 PCR test result, NMIMR did not have records of a negative PCR test result for Acheampong.
Prof Annag said several phone discussions with Acheampong, who is in the UK, to get him to assist with the investigation proved futile on each occasion.
Touching on the way forward, Prof. Anang indicated that authorities of the University of Ghana would take the necessary steps to protect its reputation and assured the public of the Institute continous service of providing accurate and reliable COVID-19 test results to all clients.