Coronaviruses detected by PCR test

J Frater made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Ministry of Health should normally have responded promptly and by (details and exceptions)

From: J Frater

To: Ministry of Health,

Does the COVID-19 PCR testing in New Zealand only test for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus or do they also test for other coronaviruses.

Thank You

J Frater

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From: OIA Requests

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Kia ora,


Thank you for your email.


All the RT-PCR tests undertaken in New Zealand as part of the public
health response are specific for SARS-CoV-2.


All laboratories who perform COVID-19 testing in NZ are IANZ accredited
which means they are required to perform local validation of the assays
including specificity testing before employing the test. PCR is highly
specific by nature of its primer and probe designs which bind specifically
to genomic areas which are unique to SARS-CoV-2.


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: [1][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602. 


Ngā mihi 

OIA Services Team 


[2]Ministry of Health information releases 

[3]Unite against COVID-19 


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From: J Frater

Dear OIA Requests,

Thank you for your response.

Since the PCR test only tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and COVID-19 is only a diagnosis, please provide evidence to prove that the people that the Ministry of Health claims have COVID-19, do in fact have this disease and not one caused by a different coronavirus, such as Influenza or one of the many others, as the symptoms are similar.

Thank you,

J Frater

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Ministry of Health only: