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Thai Health Authorities Warn of False Positive COVID-19 Tests by Private Laboratories


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BANGKOK (NNT) - Thailand’s Department of Medical Services (DMS) is warning of false positive COVID-19 test results by private laboratories, as many factories and organizations are currently using these laboratories for the screening of new employees.

 

DMS Director-General Dr Somsak Akksilp said the department’s 1668 hotline is now being overwhelmed by people asking for hospital beds, after testing positive for COVID-19 in these private labs. These positive results could be false, as these labs often use the rapid test or antigen test method, which is cheaper than the standardized RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) type and inferior in terms of accuracy.

 

He explained that the 1668 hotline can only assign hospital beds to patients who have a confirmed positive result using the RT-PCR method. Patients who do not have one will need to be tested again. This eventually delays their hospitalization, which could affect the overall prognosis.

 

Meanwhile, Dr Somsak urged factories and organizations to use the services of private laboratories which are certified by the department, make sure that they use the RT-PCR method to get an accurate result and ensure that patients can be hospitalized immediately in case the result is positive.

 

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-- © Copyright NNT 2021-06-22
 
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52 minutes ago, sammieuk1 said:

Just ask any returning expat what their greatest fear of return would be after getting rinsed to death first 🤔

1. Are you talking about expats in Thailand returning to their home countries?

 

2. What do you mean with "getting rinsed" in th context of the topic?

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2 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

Dr Somsak urged factories and organizations to use the services of private laboratories which are certified by the department,

you mean under the control of the government when it come to the hospitals fixed quota for positive results. After all we don't want to cause a panic attack.

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9 hours ago, Puccini said:

2. What do you mean with "getting rinsed" in th context of the topic?

 

Getting rinsed = getting fleeced = getting ripped off.

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If a rapid test shows a positive it should thereafter be followed by a RT-PCR test to eliminate a false positive.

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8 hours ago, ikke1959 said:

So if the positive tests are not correct, how about the negative tests than???

That's a very valid point. I wonder if say those nations that have undertaken extensive tests as a % of their populations have any statistical date that illustrates the differences, if there are any in false negative/positive readings ?

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37 minutes ago, Excel said:

That's a very valid point. I wonder if say those nations that have undertaken extensive tests as a % of their populations have any statistical date that illustrates the differences, if there are any in false negative/positive readings ?

See the links in my post right before yours.

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21 minutes ago, JCP108 said:

See the links in my post right before yours.

Thanks for that. However I was actually asking for much much larger statistical data, if that is available,  i.e. national statistics % wise from those nations that has undertaken a very large % of tests per head of population.   That would then give truly accurate figures the results of which would support, or otherwise the indicative results you linked to .

 

However this from the UK government is not promising that the true % will be known or released perhaps

 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552013?reveal_response=yes

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2 hours ago, Excel said:

That's a very valid point. I wonder if say those nations that have undertaken extensive tests as a % of their populations have any statistical date that illustrates the differences, if there are any in false negative/positive readings ?

Before you get too excited, remember that the false positives mentioned in this topic are largely from rapid tests, not Rt-PCR, which is used in most countries, and which has a very low number of false positives.

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10 hours ago, ikke1959 said:

So if the positive tests are not correct, how about the negative tests than???

Nobody said all positives were not correct..... plenty of factors can impact results. I believe false negatives are usually from badly taken samples. 

This may make your eyes glaze over.....

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2 hours ago, JCP108 said:

Rapid tests almost never give false positives (much less than 1% of the time) but do give false negatives at a much higher rate (about 50% of the time) than PCR tests which almost never give false negatives. 

“These positive results could be false, as these labs often use the rapid test or antigen test method, which is cheaper than the standardized RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) type and inferior in terms of accuracy.”

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29 minutes ago, Danderman123 said:

Before you get too excited, remember that the false positives mentioned in this topic are largely from rapid tests, not Rt-PCR, which is used in most countries, and which has a very low number of false positives.

Again where is the data from those countries which have undertaken major amounts of testing to support that statement ?

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29 minutes ago, Danderman123 said:

“These positive results could be false, as these labs often use the rapid test or antigen test method, which is cheaper than the standardized RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) type and inferior in terms of accuracy.”

Rapid tests are inferior to PCR tests in terms of false negatives, but not false positives.

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15 hours ago, Caldera said:

I'm concerned that these "false" positives are actually "true" and they're just looking for reasons to fob people off because they're overwhelmed.

The NHS in the UK hands out these rapid antigen tests free in packs of 7. My daughter tests herself twice a week as required by her employers. Here, a PCR test will set foreigners back about 3500-3800, Thais maybe a lot less. Presumably the RATs are available here, bit I'm not sure where to obtain them. Aren't they what was/is being used to get into Phuket, possibly at one time? I found one RAT advertised for 1358 THB.

 

But there have been questions about the accuracy of the rapid antigen test kits for quite a while.

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On 6/23/2021 at 5:50 AM, JCP108 said:

PCR tests are reported to give false positive results about 1/200. None of that considers mishandling by labs which would increase both false positives and negatives.

 

Nonsense.

 

Which "PCR tests" are you talking about ?

 

The key is the CT.

 

Each manufacturer of PCR tests machine... uses its own standard parameters.

 

Then each lab can play with the settings as well.

 

A PCR tests with a CT at 45 is totally useless... even a rock or a table will be positive. 😉

 

Kansas state lab was proud to use... 42 in 2020 before to go down to 35 in january 2021 !

Other will use 25, 30 or 35.

 

Source : https://sentinelksmo.org/kdhe-quietly-reduced-cycle-threshold-on-covid-tests/

 

There is no standardization whatsoever... This is why it's a scam.

 

How can we compare "cases" in such conditions ? Even within the same country we're looking at oranges and apples !

 

Where is the science in this circus ?

 

Even the New York Times spoke about it... last august.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html

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34 minutes ago, cclub75 said:

 

Nonsense.

 

Which "PCR tests" are you talking about ?

 

The key is the CT.

 

Each manufacturer of PCR tests machine... uses its own standard parameters.

 

Then each lab can play with the settings as well.

 

A PCR tests with a CT at 45 is totally useless... even a rock or a table will be positive. 😉

 

Kansas state lab was proud to use... 42 in 2020 before to go down to 35 in january 2021 !

Other will use 25, 30 or 35.

 

Source : https://sentinelksmo.org/kdhe-quietly-reduced-cycle-threshold-on-covid-tests/

 

There is no standardization whatsoever... This is why it's a scam.

 

How can we compare "cases" in such conditions ? Even within the same country we're looking at oranges and apples !

 

Where is the science in this circus ?

 

Even the New York Times spoke about it... last august.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html

I appreciate that information. I wonder what CT level the labs in Thailand are using. Still, even with the various (and, probably, stupid) fiddling with the CT levels, seems from all the info I can find about PCR test is that in practice they are resulting in somewhere around 0.5% false positives. Perhaps that false positive risk in Thailand would be greater or lesser depending on how they are setting the CT sensitivity. If I travel there, I hope they are setting it low so I don't get a false positive and end up with a useless and troubling 14-day hospital stay. 

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