Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Image Of Positive And Negative Control Swabs On Test Kits Used For Quality Control, Not Testing Patients

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. 

Image showing positive and negative control swabs in COVID-19 test kits

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. 

Also Read: 2018 Image Of Woman Sitting On A Road With Oxygen Cylinder Shared To Mislead Amid India’s Second COVID-19 Wave

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’. 

Screenshot of FLowflex's instruction manual which includes information on positive and negative control swabs in the test kit
Screenshot of FLowflex’s instruction manual which includes information on positive and negative control swabs in the test kit

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.

Also Read: Claims Suggesting Women Not To Take COVID-19 Vaccine 5 Days Before And After Their Periods Is Misleading


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.

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

ACON laboratories: https://www.aconlabs.com/covid-19/

ACON laboratories: https://www.aconlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/2200029901-Labs-CE-SARS-CoV-2-Antigen-Rapid-Test-Sell-Sheet.pdf

‘Flowflex™ SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test’ instruction manual: https://perma.cc/2J85-K32F

If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.


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