Coronavirus symptoms: Why a negative test may not mean you are safe from COVID-19 | The Times of India

The one thing we should know is that no one test is 100% accurate, or sensitive right now.

As much of a reassurance a negative COVID-19 test can be, experts believe that taking the tests lightly, or ‘interpreting’ the results wrongly can make matters worse.

Antigen tests, of all, have the biggest failure rates- and can show up inaccurate or false results. Sometimes, people who test negative for COVID-19 on an antigen test are asked to go for a repeat test to confirm results. With RT-PCR tests, the risk might be rare but still exists.

Secondly, a negative COVID result can also come up if the body doesn’t detect sufficient viral load in repeated cycles. This can also happen when a test is administered inaccurately.

Diagnostic errors and lapses can also lead to wrong results. According to experts, right now, during the pandemic, false-negative rates could be as high as 30%.


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