Every now and then, anti-vaxxers come with a conspiracy theory to support their claims that the entire pandemic thing is nothing but a hoax. In yet another attempt, images of some COVID-10 test kits showing “positive” and “negative” control swabs are going viral on the internet.
They present these images as proof that test results are “fixed” in advance. However, these claims are false as the swabs shown in the images are used to maintain quality control, and they are not for patient testing.
Here is the viral picture:
It shows two different SARS-CoV-2 antigen test packages from ACON Laboratories, a US-based medical equipment company, showing two packages, labeled “Positive Control Swab,” and “Negative Control Swab.”
The post that goes with these images says, “Picture taken secretly by a nurse on shift. Name not mentioned for obvious reasons.”
“When you got tested, did your doctor give you the positive test or negative test kit? The test swab fibers are alive. That’s why they swab your brain. They are placing nanotechnology directly into you. Same with the mask. The masks are alive, and you breathe those living particles into your body, and they go to work on your immune system. I’ve posted several videos exposing the fibers freely crawling around in mask wiggling like worms. You have been tricked into harming yourselves. Stop wearing masks.”
The picture soon went viral and was widely shared on Facebook in other languages, including Malaysian, Indonesian, German, and French.
However, an AFP fact check has identified that these antigen kits were to maintain quality control, not for testing patients. The company sells different types of tests for SARS-CoV-2, including the “Flowflex™ SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test”.
This document shows that each kit comes with a “negative control swab” and a “positive control swab.”
“These control swabs should be used to ensure that the test cassette and the test procedure is performed correctly,” the instruction leaflet says, a screenshot of which is given below:
According to Liliane Grangeot-Keros, virologist and permanent secretary of the French National Pharmacy Academy, the control swabs in the COVID-19 test kits are used to “check whether the technology has worked.”
“If the technology has worked well, the positive control should give a positive, and the negative control [should give] a negative result,” she said.