The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) has described as untrue the alleged falsification of COVID-19 test results by the Institute.
One Kofi Acheampong alleged on social media in January this year that the Institute was engaged in falsifying COVID-19 test results.
The Institute said although Acheampong’s positive results circulated on social media was valid, its internal investigations established that there was no evidence in the NMIMR data and reporting system for the generation of another negative result for him.
Professor Abraham Kwabena Anang, the Director of NMIMR, said this at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday to present findings of investigations into the alleged falsification of COVID-19 results.
On January 15, this year, there were voice reports and a COVID-19 test results from Noguchi on social media alleging breaches of the testing protocols by the Institute.
The audio message was from Acheampong, alleging that he was requested by British Airways to obtain a COVID-19 test result for his travel to the United Kingdom.
Acheampong said he visited the NMIMR on January 10 to take a COVID-19 test, which turned out positive when he returned to collect the results on 12th January, 2021.
He alleged that after about an hour of taking the test 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 GH¢500.00 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.
Professor Annag said 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-19 test at the walk-in testing station at a fee of GHS¢50.00.
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.
He said the University of Ghana would take the necessary steps to protect its reputation and assured the public that the Institute would continue to provide accurate and reliable COVID-19 test results to all clients.
There is a possibility that Kofi Acheampong may be apprehended and arraigned before court to serve as a deterrent and clear the name of the institute, NMIMR hinted.
“They [NIB] are looking for him for further interrogations and the necessary actions to be taken if they find him to be culpable”
The move is necessary to find the motivation behind his actions and bring finality to the issue.