PCR discernment capability

darren sharpe made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

The request was successful.

From: darren sharpe

Dear Ministry of Health,
Following the confirmation by the CDC that the PCR tests approved for use, (with the cycle count as specified by the test author and owner) were developed without having actual viral materials available, and therefore were developed on assumptions and computer assisted simulation are found to be unable / unreliable to distinguish between standard Coronavirus flu infection and new novel Coronavirus 2019,
Can you confirm that the test in NZ is not from one of these test houses (the list is readily available from the CDC website)
Can you also confirm that the test is able to distinguish between the novel coronavirus 2019 and the common coronavirus in circulation around New Zealand, and outline how this has been established

Yours faithfully,

Darren Sharpe

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Kia ora Darren,


Thank you for your email.


The Ministry can confirm that none of the assays are from the commercial
manufacturers. More information can be found here:


The variants of COVID-19 (including the delta variant) are determined by
Whole Genome Sequencing. Detailed information on genome sequencing can be
found on the genome sequencing Q&A on ESR’s website at the following
link: [2]https://www.esr.cri.nz/our-expertise/cov...


Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [3][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602. 


Ngâ mihi 

OIA Services Team 


[4]Ministry of Health information releases 

[5]Unite against COVID-19 


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