PCR test success rate 70% – Health Ministry

The Ministry of Health has revealed that the success rate of PCR tests conducted at a local laboratory stands at 70%.

According to the Sunday Morning, the Health Ministry Spokesman Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara said there is a possibility for the remaining 30% to be either false positive or negative.

His comments come at a time when serious concerns were raised recently on the accuracy of PCR tests being conducted in Sri Lanka in light of the latest COVID-19 outbreak, as some results initially reported as positive were later announced as negative.

Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara further said the false result may be reported due to several reasons such as method of collecting samples, if the sample was taken from the right spot in the nose, if the swab reached the necessary depth, and if the virus was naturally killed due to the development of antibodies in the patient.

The Health Ministry Spokesman pointed out that when a patient develops antibodies it helps to naturally kill the virus, which has resulted in some PCR tests being revealed as positive during the first test and negative during the follow up test.

There is also a possibility for a person to test negative initially and to test positive later, he explained.

When inquired if there is a possibility for people wrongly detected as negative instead of positive moving within the community, Dr. Bandara said that if such patients are identified as first or second contacts of infected patients, then follow up tests would be carried out leading to the detection of the virus. (NewsWire)

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