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Nucleic acid being test by PCR test

Helen Wallis made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

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From: Helen Wallis

Dear Ministry of Health,

Please provide the complete section(s) of RNA code which is detected by the RT-PCR test for Covid-19 and somehow identify the areas where the differences occur between the variants.

Please provide the different sections of code (under those which are tested) for each of the 3 main variants of concern, alpha, delta and omicron.

Please provide a full disclosure explanation of how a positive NAAT RT-PCR test shows a positive case of Covid-19 after detecting a nominal amount of nucleic acid which belong to a virus rather than showing that the person is indeed infected with a replicating virus.

There must have be some discussion to decide that an asymptomatic person who carries genetic material (shown by the RT-PCR test) from what could be either a replicating virus or a non replicating virus is a "positive" covid case. Please provide the documentation for this discussion. Also please provide the documents showing that it isn't necessary for a Doctor to check the patient for signs of illness to confirm this "positive case"

Please also provide a full disclosure explanation of how an asymptomatic case has been deemed to be infectious. Quoting a RT-PCR test here is insufficient as it only shows that genetic material form the searched for nucleic acid is present, not that there is any further infection. As confirmed by CDC, Dr Fauci and others the NAAT doesn't prove that the tested person is infectious only that they carry the genetic material that was tested for by the NAAT.

Yours faithfully,

Helen Wallis

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From: OIA Requests



Kia ora 

 

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From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Helen,

 

Thank you for your request for official information. The Ministry's
reference number for your request is: H202200120.  

 

As required under the Official Information Act 1982, the Ministry will
endeavour to respond to your request no later than 20 working days after
the day your request was received. If you'd like to calculate the
timeframe, you can use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [1]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

 

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. If
we are unable to respond to your request within this time frame, we will
notify you of an extension of that time frame.

 

If you have any queries related to this request, please do not hesitate to
get in touch.

 

Ngā mihi

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [2][email address]

 

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From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Helen  

 

Please find attached a letter regarding your request for information. 

 

Ngā mihi 

 

 

OIA Services 

Government Services 

Office of the Director-General 

Ministry of Health 

E: [1][email address

  

 

 

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From: Andrew Scanlon


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Dear Helen, 

 

Please find attached our response to your Official Information Act request
dated 5 January 2022 to the Ministry of Health, who partially transferred
your request to ESR on 20 January 2022.

.

 

Thank you and regards,

 

Andrew

 

Andrew Scanlon

OIA & Privacy Requests, ESR

Kenepuru Science Centre, 34 Kenepuru Drive, Porirua 5022

E:  [1]OIA&[email address]

W: [2]www.esr.cri.nz

[3]https://en.facebookbrand.com/wp-content/...

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The information contained in this message and/or attachments from ESR is
intended solely for the addressee and may contain confidential and/or
privileged material. If you are not the intended recipient, any review,
disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be
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Dear Helen, 

 

Please find attached our response to your Official Information Act request
dated 5 January 2022 to the Ministry of Health, who partially transferred
your request to ESR on 20 January 2022.

.

 

Thank you and regards,

 

Andrew

 

Andrew Scanlon

OIA & Privacy Requests, ESR

Kenepuru Science Centre, 34 Kenepuru Drive, Porirua 5022

E:  [1]OIA&[email address]

W: [2]www.esr.cri.nz

[3]https://en.facebookbrand.com/wp-content/...

[6][IMG]

 

 

The information contained in this message and/or attachments from ESR is
intended solely for the addressee and may contain confidential and/or
privileged material. If you are not the intended recipient, any review,
disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be
taken in reliance on it is prohibited by ESR. If you have received this
message in error, please notify the sender immediately.
This email has been filtered by SMX. For more information visit
[7]smxemail.com

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7. http://smxemail.com/

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From: Helen Wallis

Dear Jill,
Thank you for your response.
I still would like some clarity about some of your answers.

Please provide the complete section(s) of RNA code which is detected by the RT-PCR
test for Covid-19 and somehow identify the areas where the differences occur
between the variants.
There are at least 18 different SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid tests (NATs), which include RTPCR, being used in New Zealand. Almost all of them are commercial NAT assays which
mean that it is not publicly known what the sequence of the primers and probes (sections of
code) are and therefore it is not possible to provide you with this information.

Did ESR or anyone in NZ confirm that the genetic sequence the commercial NAT assays test for belongs solely to Sar-Cov 2 and that it does not correspond to any other Corona virus?

Please provide the different sections of code (under those which are tested) for each
of the 3 main variants of concern, alpha, delta and omicron.
The NAT assays in use in New Zealand amplify and detect different sections of code in the
following viral genes: N, E, RdRP, ORF and S - gene. The only assay in use in New Zealand
which has one of the gene targets (S-gene) affected by both the Alpha and Omicron variant
is the Thermo Taqpath assay.

Can you please confirm which sections of code are tested for which variant for each assay in use in NZ.
Eg. Themo Taqpath assay uses the N, E and S - gene to identify both Omicron and Alpa.
Themo Taqpath assay uses the ?? to identify Delta
and so on.

Please provide a full disclosure explanation of how a positive NAAT RT-PCR test
shows a positive case of Covid-19 after detecting a nominal amount of nucleic acid
which belong to a virus rather than showing that the person is indeed infected with a
replicating virus.
A positive NAT cannot determine if it comes from a replicating virus or not as it detects only
a piece (small amplicon) or pieces of the virus. However, if the NAT signal increases on
repeat testing then one can assume that more virions are produced (viruses are replicating).
Positive cultures are more indicative of replication competent virus in clinical samples.

So just to be clear after a "positive case" of detection of the viral material no other diagnosis is made to confirm there is an infection of covid-19 rather than just the presence of viral material?
In https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article... it states that the RT-PCR test is only used to confirm a diagnosis of covid-19. So the assays in use in NZ only show viral material is present and no further testing is performed to identify if it is a replicating virus or not?

Please also provide a full disclosure explanation of how an asymptomatic case has
been deemed to be infectious. Quoting a RT-PCR test here is insufficient as it only
shows that genetic material form the searched for nucleic acid is present, not that
there is any further infection. As confirmed by CDC, Dr Fauci and others the NAAT
doesn't prove that the tested person is infectious only that they carry the genetic
material that was tested for by the NAAT.
Epidemiological follow up studies have shown that those who are exposed to asymptomatic
cases, say for instance in a household setting, have a high probability of testing NAT SARSCoV-2 positive or develop COVID-19 (clinical syndrome) in the follow up incubation period. It
can be difficult to determine if all asymptomatic cases are infectious when the NAT signal is
weak, especially where someone has not had a known exposure or where they don't
develop symptoms during their isolation period.

I believe we have used a different interpretation of the word "infectious". My definition of infectious only covers when a second person develops clinical symptoms of covid-19. Is there any direct evidence of this available (just to clarify an asymptomatic person directly causing clinical symptoms of covid-19 in another person)?

Thank you for your clarification.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Wallis

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From: OIA & Privacy Requests


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Dear Helen,

 

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information dated
27 January 2022.

ESR will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in
any event no later than 25 February 2022, being 20 working days after the
day your request was received pursuant to section 15(1) of the Official
Information Act 1982. If we are unable to respond to your request by 25
February 2022, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

 

Thank you and regards,

 

Andrew Scanlon

OIA & Privacy Requests, ESR

Kenepuru Science Centre, 34 Kenepuru Drive, Porirua 5022

E:  [1]OIA&[email address]

W: [2]www.esr.cri.nz

[3]https://en.facebookbrand.com/wp-content/...

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Dear Helen, 

 

Please find attached our response to your Official Information Act request
dated 27 January 2022

.

 

Thank you and regards,

 

Andrew

 

Andrew Scanlon

OIA & Privacy Requests, ESR

Kenepuru Science Centre, 34 Kenepuru Drive, Porirua 5022

E:  [1]OIA&[email address]

W: [2]www.esr.cri.nz

[3]https://en.facebookbrand.com/wp-content/...

[6][IMG]

 

 

The information contained in this message and/or attachments from ESR is
intended solely for the addressee and may contain confidential and/or
privileged material. If you are not the intended recipient, any review,
disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be
taken in reliance on it is prohibited by ESR. If you have received this
message in error, please notify the sender immediately.
This email has been filtered by SMX. For more information visit
[7]smxemail.com

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Kia ora Helen 

 

Please find attached a letter regarding your request for information. 

Ngā mihi

 

OIA Services Team

 

[1]Ministry of Health information releases

[2]Unite against COVID-19

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