PCR (COVID-19, coronavirus) testing
Information Standards Freedom of Information Response
Our Ref: FoI 48-20
09 November 2020
Freedom of Information Act 2000
I can confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) does not hold information relevant to your request of 15 October 2020. In your request, you asked for the following information:
“I received a FOI request answer from the Department of Health and Social Care Reference FOI-1240596 and it stated that a positive PCR test means nothing medically.
The actual quote: "SARS-CoV-2 RNA means the RNA is present in that sample at that point in time. It does not mean that the patient has the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).”
The full FOI request and answer is available if you wish it.
It also linked to a document that in conclusion stated that the PCR tests being used are unreliable, had high false positive rates, could not be verified against an actual confirmed case of covid-19 and had not been verified in a medical or hospital setting.
The full FOI answer is available from myself if you require it.
PCR tests are also, as admitted by their inventors, not a diagnostic tool nor a quantitive test and should not be used as such in any circumstances.
So with this in mind please supply the following information under the FOI legislation:
1 - based on the above statements how can positive PCR tests be termed as a "case"medically?
2 - based on the above statements how can positive PCR tests be used as a justification for local lockdowns and other general restrictions?
3 - based on the above statements how can positive PCR tests be used as a justification for enforced self-isolation of individuals tested "positive”?
4 - based on the above statements how can positive PCR tests be used as a justification for enforced self-isolation of those who have been in “close contact” with an individual who tested “positive”?
5 - based on the above statements how can positive PCR tests be used as a justification for closing down or fining a business when customers have been tested “positive”?
6 - please supply the official document(s) and guidance (not the legislation but the supporting documentation) that DHSC has supplied to the Northern Ireland Assembly/the Northern Ireland’s own research that justify local lockdowns, business closures and isolation of segments of the population based on an unreliable test that does not mean the person is infected with anything, that has high false positive rates and no independent verification the results are correct?
7 - please supply the official document(s) and guidance that DHSC has supplied to the Northern Ireland Assembly/the Northern Ireland’s own research that allow the PCR tests to be used as a diagnostic tool/test that is outwith it's intended use by it's inventors.
The Assembly Commission does not hold this information. Under section 16 of the FOIA, the Assembly Commission will always try to provide advice and assistance in relation to any request received. In this instance, The Department for Health may be best positioned to provide you with information relating to Q1-7 above.
If you feel that the information we have provided does not meet your request fully, please contact this office as soon as possible. You have the right to request a formal review by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address.
If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number.