Health

Covid-19: False Positives, False Negatives Not an Anomaly, Medics Disclose

By Our Reporter

Medical experts have come out to clarify on the ‘false negative’ and ‘false positive’ COVID-19 test results received by some suspected COVID-19 patients or their next of kin in cases where the patient has passed on.

According to a statement issued by the Namuwongo based International Hospital Kampala (IHK), COVID-19 PCR tests are only 70% accurate and a patient considered to have COVID-19 based on the signs and symptoms is treated as such in the Hospital isolation units unless a Chest CT scan is done and confirms otherwise.

“A patient suspected to have COVID-19 undergoes a COVID PCR test which may take about 24 hours to obtain results. The patient will also have a chest CT scan which will indicate whether a patient has COVID-19 and the level of damage to the lungs. The PCR test is only 70% accurate. This means some patients may have negative PCR results but treated as COVID-19 positive depending on the chest CT scan image or other presenting signs and symptoms,” the statement reads in part.

“A negative DNA PCR test is not a confirmation of the absence of COVID-19 infection,” the statement further indicates, adding that patients with severe damage to the lungs from underlying health conditions or other signs and symptoms of severe COVID-19 have low chances of survival.

This statement follows a story published by a one JB Muwonge on Facebook in which a sister to the late Nalukwago Agnes, claims her sister’s death was as a result of negligence and the Hospital’s poor diagnosis of COVID-19 as the cause of death deferred from the PCR test results.

The Hospital, in its holding statement published on December 18, 2020, highlights that the said patient was admitted in critical condition from another hospital and died within 24 hours of admission.

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