The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIR) has clarified that the test results announced are results from individuals who have been tested and do not include duplicate tests.
Noguchi’s Head of Virology, Professor William Ampofo made this clarification at a press briefing held today on updates of COVID-19 cases in the country.
The clarification follows concerns by people on whether the regularly updated cases being reported by the government included duplicated tests.
But speaking at a press briefing earlier today, Prof. Ampofo explained that: “those counts for the retests of people who are positive are in separate databases. It is not counted among those who we are screening for the first time. When we provide the cumulative figures to the Ghana Health Service, it excludes those who have been retested… what Ghana Health Service is reporting is the number of individuals who are tested.”
According to the Head of Virology at the Medical Research Centre, samples taken through retesting are placed in a different database, making it impossible for them to be recounted.
“Each respiratory sample is accompanied by a case investigation form. Our people refuse to accept a sample if it does not come with a case investigation form because they need to understand where that particular individual came from. So each test result is based on a form. That’s how come we are able to tell you that someone had traveled or some people don’t have a travel history. This information is not on the tube but on the form and that is where we get the data from. So every result that we get is from an individual. The 68,000, 70,000, 1,200 tests a day are individual data,” he explained.
Backlog Cases to be tested
Prof. Ampofo said as of April 21, 2020 his outfit had processed 76,921 samples and has tested 70,921 with a backlog of about 6000 while the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), has a backlog of about 10,000 samples.
He added that Noguchi expects “to clear this backlog by the end of this week.”
“Once we are able to sort out the backlog, then they will be able to calculate the rate of infection, they will be able to present data on incidence and we will all understand how the spread has actually taken place,” he said.
Noguchi currently has over 150 people working three shifts 24/7, one lab with a staff strength of about 15 to 20, and has tested 15,280 samples out of 25,219 samples processed.