Posted: Mon 12th Oct 2020

It is “completely incorrect” to say Covid tests generate positives for flu or common cold say Public Health Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Oct 12th, 2020

Public Health Wales have issued a social media fact check, with one often shared ‘fact’ being definitively debunked.

Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said in their regular statement, “We are aware of misinformation circulating on social media which suggests that testing for COVID-19 generates a positive result for flu or common cold viruses. This is completely incorrect.”

“The swab (PCR, antigen) test for COVID-19 has been specifically developed to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus – also known as COVID-19 – and has a proven accuracy rate of 99.91%.”

With a range of new experts and information sites popping up during the pandemic, Public Health Wales urged caution on what people shared, “We would remind everyone to ensure that they are getting their information from established, trusted organisations: Public Health Wales, Welsh Government, and NHS Wales, and not to share anything from unverified sources.”

Today has seen more data published across the UK about the spread of coronavirus, as well as an increase in hospitalisations.

Earlier today UK Government put forward a frontline staff member to give a first hand account of the situation in Greater Manchester. A consultant explained that Greater Manchester has seen a threefold increase in the number of patients admitted to intensive care in the last five weeks and an eightfold increase in the number of patients admitted to hospitals.

Dr Eddleston is a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine, she said of Greater Manchester 30% of critical care beds are occupied by covid patients, adding “We are still finding that a quarter of patients that are admitted to intensive care are still required to go on mechanical ventilator within 24 hours of admission.”

Wales then saw a similar, less detailed, update in the lunchtime Welsh Government briefing.

Previously the Health Minister has said of misinformation on social media, “I want those platforms to be responsible and to promptly remove misleading and dangerous information. It could not be more serious or more urgent, it is a global public health emergency that has taken countless lives across the globe.

“Here in the UK tens of thousands of people have lost their lives. In Wales, more than two and a half thousand people have lost their lives.

“Social media platforms should be part of the answer, and not part of the problem.”

You can view the UK Government briefing on the below video:

You can view the Welsh Government briefing on the below video:

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