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Fact Check: Are Rapid Antigen Test Kits results fixed?

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Quick Take

A social media video doing rounds claim that the COVID-19 testing kits come with a preloaded positive or negative result. This results in the kit manufacturing companies showing us random results thereby cheat the studies.

This is a random conspiracy theory with no valid proof given by the video maker. Based on official documents, sources and product description, our fact check says the claim is False.

The Claim

The video published on social media is captioned, “PCR tests come with one positive and one negative result. So they can tell you whatever they want it to be. These are created for ‘controlled studies’. To cheat in studies and get the results they want basically. That’s what a controlled study means.”

Archived version of the post can be seen here and here.

Fact Check

Does the claim have any merit?

No. This is a mere conspiracy theory with no basis.

Covid tests are currently done in two ways – PCR and Rapid tests. Rapid test kits are relatively new where a user can do the test at home and get the result. PCR tests, on the other hand are done in pathology laboratories.

The user in the video uses a Rapid Test Kit made by Abbott and were called Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device but calls it as PCR Test.

The video shows the kit contains two slips of ‘Positive Control’ and ‘Negative Control’. What are those?

The product literature of the testing device says “The controls are specifically formulated and manufactured to ensure performance of the Panbio™ COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device and are used to verify the user’s ability to properly perform the test and interpret the results.” It also says, “Good laboratory practice suggests the use of positive and negative controls to ensure that: Test reagents are working, and The test is correctly performed.”

The positive and negative “controls” are added as a part of quality control procedures. They are used by medical professionals to be double sure about the process of testing.

A positive control will always return positive for an infected person and a negative control will return negative for a non-infected person. This allows medical professionals to crosscheck and avoid false positive and false negative.

This does not mean that the tests come with “preloaded” results as the video claimed.

So, are Rapid Antigen Tests 100% foolproof?

No. They are not. There are multiple doubts about the accuracy of results produced by Rapid Test Kits. But such kits come in handy to get fast results for a larger population. This creates a direction for health officials and Govt to direct their resources. This is why the World Health Organization (WHO) and The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have approved these test kits for testing.

But, while accuracy can be a matter of debate, this does not mean that the kits come “pre loaded” with fake results.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.