A 5-member committee set up by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) to investigate allegations of falsification of COVID-19 test results by the institute says it has found that the claimant, one Kofi Acheampong, peddled untruths.
In a 3-paged statement, Noguchi said a separate investigation by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) also concluded that Kofi Acheampong lied in a viral claim published on social media.
In January 2021, a public post went viral on social media believed to have been made by one Kofi Acheampong who said he paid for a COVID-19 test at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, a result which supposedly came out positive, but he received a phone call from a staff who proposed he could change the results into a negative test at a fee of GH¢500 since the claimant needed the test results to fly to the UK.
He further claimed that after payment of the supposed GH¢500, he was issued with a negative test result which he used to fly to the UK but after another COVID-19 test in UK, his result came out negative, suggesting that he was actually COVID-19 negative but was deceived to make the GH¢500 extra payment under the guise of changing his test result at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.
But Noguchi in its report said it is true that Kofi Acheampong on 10th of January 2021 at 11:40 am, came to the facility for a test and paid the official fee of GH¢350 and that he returned on 12th January 2021 to collect his positive result and signed for it at 1.30pm.
However, there is no evidence that Noguchi issued another test result.
“There was no evidence in the NMIMR data and reporting system for the generation of another report (negative) for Mr. Kofi Acheampong…Without giving credence to the supposedly UK NHS negative COVID-19 result that was also circulated on social media, we would like to state that, scientifically, it is possible for a person to test positive for COVID-19 and convert to negative status within a few days. The technical data from Mr. Kofi 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,” Noguchi indicated.
The external investigations conducted by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) into the issue “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.”
“Investigation also unearthed that, Kofi Acheampong did not use a falsified COVID-19 test result to travel to the UK on British Airways, flight 075. Checks with British Airways indicated that the company did not request for a COVID-19 test report as a condition for Kofi Acheampong to board their flight. At the time Kofi Acheampong left for UK on 12th January 2021, a COVID-19 test report was not a prerequisite for travel on British Airways flights.”
Noguchi says the public should remain assured that it will continue to provide accurate and reliable COVID-19 test results.
“It is apparent that, Kofi Acheampong made false allegations in respect of the falsified COVID-19 test result from NMIMR. The University of Ghana would take the necessary steps to protect its reputation. The University of Ghana Noguch Memorial Institute for Medical Research wishes to assure the general public that it will continue to provide accurate and reliable COVID-19 test results,” it concluded.