Since the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) was re-opened for air travel on September 1, 2020, 406, 872 Covid-19 tests have been conducted as of August 4, 2021.
Of that number, 2, 407 were positive, with July seeing the highest number of Covid-19 cases. However, some persons who came out positive complained about the authenticity of their results.
Some blamed the processes used; others had issues with the device used.
Some even claimed they had tested negative before arriving in the country, only to be declared positive at the KIA.
At a media briefing, Wednesday, CEO of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Delese Mimi Darko, explained that the rapid diagnostic system (RDS) device used for testing at the airport is valid and credible.
According to her, “the procedures samples go through with the system cannot be compared to the other testing kits some claim to be using, including the home testing kit which is not permitted in Ghana.”
She explains that an individual drops a sample on the kit with other test kits, and after a line appears on the kit, a reading is taken.
Delese Mimi Darko describes this as “not sensitive” as there is no magnification. She goes on to describe how the RDS, an automated fluorescent amino acids device with nanotechnology that makes it even more sensitive, works at the Airport, making its results “credible.”
“When you go to the airport, they will put a swap in your nose; then they put it in a certain solution. The solution is what contains the antibodies. So if you have the virus, the virus from your nose will bind onto that antibody. Then they will be dropped onto a piece of paper which binds again onto another antibody, making it look like a sandwich,” she clarified.
This is then put into the machine. This sandwich then binds onto another nanoparticle that is on that strip.
By this time, reading takes place using a fluorescent detector, meaning it cannot be seen with the naked eye.
According to the CEO, it “makes the system more sensitive and able to detect the virus.”
Ones the reaction takes place, then it is read on an LED screen and printed out.
She further justified the validity of the test by saying the results churned out are evaluated using the PCR, which is a “gold standard” for testing Covid-19.’
Delese Mimi Darko notes, double checks are conducted to be double sure of the results “we took 100 samples determined positive by the RDT and evaluated it using the PCR. Then we took another 100 samples determined negatively by the PCR.”
“We then used the RDT to detect if the results were the same and they were.”
She further mentioned how the device is ‘also able to detect even low viral loads as well as to detect other Covid-19 strains immediately the samples are loaded onto the device.”
This validates the FDA’s decision to state that the RDT device meets the Authority’s specification with not less than 99 per cent sensitive results.
The FDA boss assured Ghanaians that they will continue to ensure that “the system and any other device registered for use meets the required for the quality management system and integrity so that the results that come out of that system will also be credible.”