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FAIR AND SQUARE: Coronavirus tests can lie!

Karolína Lišková
02.May 2020
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2 minutes to read
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Staří lidé patří do nejvíce ohrožené skupiny.

I've read a foreign article about a 93-year-old (!) woman in Israel. Fourteen of her friends died of covid-19 in the nursing home where she lives. She was among the first infected, but seemed to have recovered. Except that wasn't the case, even though she took a total of twelve tests that showed a negative result. Is this even possible?

The clinic where she was tested claims that there are tests all over the world that simply don't always show the real result immediately, which is why patients are tested twice. And they need to have two negative tests. Just like over here. So how is it possible that the old lady had twelve negative tests, which were actually positive?

The whole world buys all the corona-related things, that is face masks, respirators or tests, in China. We must not forget where the virus came from. Oh well, everything is made in China these days, no surprise there. But while the fact that the fake Adidas sneakers manufactured by local children for less than the minimum wage fall apart pretty fast rarely bothers anyone, medical products really should have some quality. After all, it's not a fashion trend at stake, but human lives.

Prodej luxusního bytu, Praha 4 - 106m
Prodej luxusního bytu, Praha 4 - 106m, Praha 4

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Testy nejsou vždy spolehlivé.
Testy nejsou vždy spolehlivé. Source: Pixabay

When nationwide testing for coronavirus antibodies began in the Czech Republic, many journalists as well as a few experts expressed their concerns that the results of the survey might not be valid, because the tests can be wrong. They are from China. However, the dean of the 1st Faculty of Medicine at Charles University, physician and biochemist Aleksi Šedo, who happens to be the man behind the survey, has no problem with Chinese products.

I'm not a Sinophile, but...

"I'm not a Sinophile, but I don't see a problem with the tests being from China. Most of the tests we have in Europe are from China. They have been certified in Belgium. We have to look at how accurate those tests are. We chose them on the basis that there are enough of them and we need to have the same test for the whole study," explained Aleksi Šedo, adding that the statisticians expect a small percentage of inaccuracies. This is called false positivity and false negativity. It is not uncommon, no matter where the test is from.

Moreover, everything we can imagine is produced in China. Even the coronavirus. If by mistake or on purpose... we'll probably never know for sure. What is certain is that when it comes to the production of medical supplies, whether they are drapes, respirators, gloves or tests, 90% have been made in China. Even if you are strongly opposed to this state and its products, you'll sure to find a good number of them at home. If you're not sure, check for the inscription "Made in China". Personally, I own so many that I wouldn't be able to count them all.

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Lékaře v Izraeli čeká žaloba.
Lékaře v Izraeli čeká žaloba.Source: Pixabay

In any case, I hope this grandmother pulls through despite her false negative tests. She must have survived a lot of things worse than some kind of virus in her life. And to win over an invisible enemy that kills thousands of people around the world at such an advanced age, that deserves a medal - and a huge applause. I have a feeling we haven't applauded anyone for a few weeks already... :-)

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