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The Nouguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) says its assessment of the COVID-19 testing process at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) has established that it was highly reliable and appropriate.

It said the Antigen testing regime had a high specificity and sensitivity rate when it was double assessed using the PCR testing regime.

Speaking at a national COVID-19 briefing in Accra on Thursday, the Head of Virology at the Institute, Professor William Ampofo, said the testing regime at the airport had a specificity rate of 100 and a sensitivity rate of above 90.

He said although it was not Rapid Diagnostic Testing, its turnaround time was faster than the PCR and that was why it was adopted.

He said its high accuracy characteristics coupled with the fact that it was being used to validate PCR negative results all arriving passengers were mandated to have would ensure that importation of the virus was curtailed.

Prof Ampofo’s comments comes on the back of claims by a Senior Research Fellow at the NMIMR, Dr Kofi Bonney, that the COVID-19 testing device used at the airport was not reliable.

Dr Bonney in an interview on Accra-based Joy FM on Tuesday claimed that about half of the test to be conducted at the airport might be inaccurate because the test being conducted was not a PCR test but an antigen test which was less sensitive.

But a statement released Tuesday and signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Delese Mimi Darko, said Dr Bonney’s claims were “inaccurate and unscientific.”

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