January 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In what some have suggested is politicized timing, the World Health Organization on Wednesday changed the protocol for COVID-19 tests, which will result in large reductions in the numbers of positive cases. The body took this action just one hour after Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued guidance regarding the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is being widely used across the globe in order to detect cases of COVID-19. In a short information notice, the WHO referred back to an instruction booklet for COVID testing, released in September 2020, noting that "careful interpretation of weak positive results is needed."
The guidance warned against diagnosing someone as having the virus just because he tests positive if he does not present with symptoms of COVID-19. It also warned about the high risk of false positives: "The cycle threshold (Ct) needed to detect virus is inversely proportional to the patient's viral load. Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken and retested using the same or different NAT technology."
"As disease prevalence decreases, the risk of false positive increases. The probability that a person who has a positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) is truly infected with SARS-CoV-2 decreases as prevalence decreases, irrespective of the claimed specificity," the WHO continued.