Social media users shared an image that shows components of a COVID-19 test kit claiming that the positive and negative control swabs are proof that test results are manipulated or fixed in advance.
The image shows two different SARS-CoV-2 antigen test packages from ACON Laboratories, a US-based medical equipment company. The first package is labelled SARS-CoV-2 Antigen “Positive Control Swab”; while the second is labelled SARS-CoV-2 Antigen “Negative Control Swab”.
The bottom of the image includes a text which reads, “Picture taken secretly by a nurse on shift. Name not mentioned for obvious reasons”.
Newschecker received this claim on its Whatsapp tip line (9999499044) for verification.
This comes amid India’s second COVID-19 wave where the country is witnessing a massive surge in active case counts. The country registered around 3.57 lakh active cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total active caseload to 34.4 lakh as of 4 May, as per data by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Shortage of beds, oxygen supply in several states has resulted in the death of many individuals who contracted the virus.
Fact Check / Verification
Taking cue from ACON laboratories seen in the image, we found that the medical equipment company sells different types of tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.
One of them is the “Flowflex™ SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test,” whose documentation shows that each test kit includes a positive control swab and a negative control swab.
Flowflex’s instruction manual further states that “Positive and Negative control swabs are supplied with each kit. These control swabs should be used to ensure that the test cassette and that the test procedure is performed correctly,” under the heading ‘Quality Control’.
Here’s a video shared by ACON Laboratories on how the Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test works.
We’ve reached out to Acon for further information and will update this fact-check if/ when we receive a response.
The image showing “Positive Control Swab” and “Negative Control Swab” on a COVID-19 antigen test kits by ACON laboratories are in fact used to maintain quality control, not for testing patients.
ACON laboratories: https://www.aconlabs.com/covid-19/
‘Flowflex™ SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test’ instruction manual: https://perma.cc/2J85-K32F
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