The minister of health reacted to two parliamentary inquiries on Thursday and elaborated on positive and negative test results, as well as quarantine measures.
If people feel they are being treated unfairly by the imposed quarantine measures or prolonged isolation periods, they can address any complaint to the director of health, or the sanitary inspection. That was the reaction by Paulette Lenert to a parliamentary inquiry by CSV deputies Martine Hansen and Georges Mischo.
Lenert further explained that such cases could occur when authorities do not receive sufficient information on the appearance of symptoms, the date of a Covid test, or are simply unable to reach the people in question via telephone. In such cases, the duration of the quarantine period could be corrected to match the exact period of 14 days since a test has been made. Her answer did not convey how many such incidents have happened.
The minister of health denied any cases of falsely placing healthy people in isolation. This could be guaranteed by the fact that the "Large Scale Testing" procedures included a double check on positive cases.
Up to 20% of negative results could be false
Lenert emphasised that the probability of incorrect positive results is extremely low, meaning that people who tested positive for the coronavirus in a PCR test were in fact not infected. Similarly, there is a slight chance that people producing a negative result are in fact positive.
This would mostly depend on the quality of the nasal swab and if the probe reached far enough up a patient's nose or throat. Timing in relation to the moment of infection would also be relevant, Lenert stressed.
Officials estimate that around 20% of negative results could be false, thereby overlooking an active infection, Lenert conveyed in her response to the parliamentary inquiry of CSV deputy Françoise Hetto-Gaasch, who wanted to know more about test reliability.
This morning, Dr Nehrbass, general director of the Luxembourg Institute of Health and coordinator for the Covid-Task-Force, told RTL there had been no false negatives or positives in the large scale testing project
However, if people who clearly display clinical symptoms receive a negative test result, they are advised to repeat the procedure. The director of health Jean-Claude Schmit therefore underlined that the issue was not with the laboratories, but with the quality of the probes that are sent in.