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Public warned of false positive Covid tests

The Department of Medical Services has warned of false positive Covid-19 test results by private laboratories

Dr Somsak Akksilp, director-general of the department, said on Sunday that currently many factories and organisations were using the services of private laboratories for screening new employees before accepting them for work.

“The department’s 1668 hotline is now overwhelmed with people calling in asking for hospital beds after testing positive for Covid-19 in these private labs,” he said.“In fact, these positive results could be false as these labs usually use rapid test or antigen test method, which is cheaper than the standardised RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) method, and also inferior in terms of accuracy.”

“The department’s 1668 hotline can allot hospital beds only to patients who have a confirmed result by RT-PCR method” he added.

“Patients who do not have one will need to be tested again after already wasting their time and money on the previous test. This eventually delays their hospitalisation, which could affect the overall treatment,” he said.

Somsak urged factories and organisations to use services of private laboratories certified by the department and make sure that they use the RT-PCR method to get an accurate result and to ensure that patients can be hospitalised immediately in case the result comes back positive.


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