November 18, 2020
The court stated, the test’s reliability depends on the number of cycles used and the viral load present. Citing Jaafar et al. 2020, the court concludes that
“if someone is tested by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the rule in most laboratories in Europe and the US), the probability that said person is infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97%.”
The court further notes that the cycle threshold used for the PCR tests currently being made in Portugal is unknown.
The threshold cycles used in PCR tests in India is between 37 and 40, which makes the reliability of the PCR test less than 3% and the false positive rate as high as 97%.
This case concerned the fact that four people had been quarantined by the Regional Health Authority. Of these, one had tested positive for COVID using a PCR test; the other three were deemed to have undergone a high risk of exposure. Consequently, the Regional Health Authority decided that all four were infectious and a health hazard, which required that they go into isolation.
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