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Sweden is Still Using PCR Tests

Maxim Sorokopud Maxim Sorokopud
3rd June 2021
Sweden is Still Using PCR Tests
PCR tests determine the presence of COVID-19 in the body (Getty Images).

The Claim

Sweden has stopped using PCR tests to identify coronavirus, as the country’s health agency has determined that the tests are unreliable. 

Emerging story

In late May, a range of websites, such as Streetloc, which bills itself as Facebook without fact-checkers, claimed that the nation of Sweden was ending its use of PCR testing, allegedly due to the tests being ineffective. 

This claim then spread to a range of mainstream social media websites, such as Twitter and Facebook. These posts have managed to gain hundreds of interactions.

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation has determined these claims to be false. Sweden is still using PCR testing, and has not deemed it ineffective. 

These articles misread a document that comes from the Swedish Public Health Agency. This document is saying that PCR testing cannot determine whether or not someone who has been infected with coronavirus is contagious. But testing still detects the presence of coronavirus in the body.

The document states that PCR technology cannot be used to determine whether a human has coronavirus RNA that is infectious or coronavirus RNA that the immune system has neutralized. The Swedish Public Health Agency says that the best criteria for a health professional to determine whether or not someone is contagious with coronavirus is to monitor fever and other symptoms. 

At no point does this text state that health professionals in Sweden should stop using PCR testing altogether. Instead, it explains why PCR testing cannot detect contagious individuals specifically. 

The Public Health Agency of Sweden still lists PCR testing as a reliable way of determining whether or not someone has coronavirus on its website. Specifically, the page states, “PCR tests are currently used on a large scale.” 

The Public Health Agency of Sweden also publishes the number of PCR tests that it has conducted over the last five weeks. In May, the country conducted over 200,000 PCR tests for coronavirus every week. 

Lastly, the Swedish government has also made it mandatory for any travelers, except for Swedish citizens, that wish to enter the country from outside the Nordic region to provide a negative coronavirus test, including vaccinated individuals. PCR tests are included in the list of tests that the government currently accepts. This test must date from within 48 hours of arrival in the country.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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