A five-member committee, set up by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in consultation with the University of Ghana, has dismissed claims that the Institute engaged in the falsification of Covid-19 test results.
The Noguchi Institute, in a press release dated Wednesday, March 3, has disclosed that investigations were conducted by the committee and the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) to address the claims raised by one Kofi Acheampong.
“The five-member committee worked by listening to the audio, examined accompanying images, identified and interviewed a number of key staff involved in the Covid-19 testing process at NMIMR.
“They also walked through the various Covid-19 process areas and traced the reference sample of Mr Kofi Acheampong from the registration of the client to the point of result collection. The committee extensively examined all documentation relating to the process.”
Mr Acheampong is alleging that he received a phone call from an individual at the Institute, informing him that the positive result given him earlier could be changed to negative for a fee of GH¢500.00 so he could travel to the United Kingdom (UK).
Mr Acheampong is accusing the Noguchi Institute of falsification of test results and exploitation of clients for monetary gain after taking another Covid-19 test in the UK that came out negative.
The Noguchi Institute in its statement admitted that although Mr Acheampong was sampled for a Covid-19 test and collected a positive result on January 12, “there was no evidence in the NMIMR data and reporting system for the generation of another report (negative)” as touted by Mr Acheampong.
On the issue of changes in Covid-19 test results, the Noguchi Institute stated that scientifically, it is possible for a person to test positive for Covid-19 and convert to negative status within a few days.
Meanwhile, the NIB in its investigations has identified Mr Acheampong as a Ghanaian and Irish citizen resident in the UK.
The findings of the National Intelligence Bureau are as follows:
“On 10th January 2021, Kofi Acheampong accompanied by one Solomon Amoako, his friend, visited NMIMR for a Covid-19 PCR test. He was requested to report for the test results on 12th January 2021, the same day he was expected to travel to the UK.
“On 12th January 2021 at about 13:33 hours, Kofi Acheampong was again accompanied by Solomon Amoako, to NMIMR to collect his Covid-19 test results. Apart from this positive Covid-19 PCR test result, NMIMR does not have records of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result for Kofi Acheampong.
“Investigation revealed that, contrary to claims by Kofi Acheampong, he neither received a phone call from anyone at NMIMR promising to change the test results at a fee nor did he return to NMIMR after he left the place on 12th January 2021.”
Also, reports from British Airways according to the NIB, indicated that “the company did not request for a Covid-19 test report as a condition for
Kofi Acheampong to board their flight.”
Steps taken by the NIB to get Mr Acheampong assist in investigations has proved futile.
“He [Kofi Acheampong] indicated he would prefer his lawyer to speak on the issue. He [Kofi Acheampong] however failed to honour his many promises to provide the phone contact of the said lawyer, the NIB stated.
The University of Ghana Noguch Memorial Institute, therefore, says it will take the necessary steps to protect its reputation.
“The University of Ghana Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research wishes to assure the general public that it will continue to provide accurate and reliable Covid-19 test results,” the Institute added.