Ontario has surpassed 300,000 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, while the influenza cases have reached historically low levels.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 billion influenza cases are reported each year, with severe cases amounting to 3-5 million and influenza deaths to 290,000-650,000.
Since COVID-19 positive cases have surpassed 300,000 in Ontario, it is important to dissect how many cases are indeed COVID-19 positive, false positives or influenza.
INN24 has done several reports on the validity of the PCR test and showed that Ontario has no protocols to ensure the reliability of PCR tests. The PCR tests amplify the samples until they reach high Cycle Thresholds (Ct) level to diagnose the results, which usually results in a high number of false-positive cases.
Email from the government of Canada employee stating that PCR tests used to determine positive cases typically used 40-45 amplification cycles
Caption-Public Health of Ontario states if the virus is detected between 38 and 40 cycles they would call the test inconclusive
According to the email from the government, Canada uses 40-45 amplification cycles for PCR testing of the COVID-19 virus. Meanwhile, Public Health Ontario (PHO) stated, “the cut-off point for a positive result for PHO’s developed lab test is 38 cycles. If the virus is detected between 38 and 40 cycles, we call this an indeterminate or inconclusive result.”
Oxford Academic Clinical Infectious Diseases conducted a study on PCR tests with low and high Ct count and the relationship with a positive result, which determined one of the conclusions:
Kingston Medical Science Centre told INN24 that they use 40 to 45 Cycle Threshold (Ct) levels for COVID-19 tests. However, the World Health Organization said running PCR tests for more than 30 cycles will produce a high degree of false positives.
To conclude, looking just at case numbers, it may be traumatic. However, given the unreliable COVID-19 testing, the mortality rates and the way they are calculated, and the historic low levels of flu, the said number of positive cases and the government’s approach to the virus are questionable.
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