What does the WHO say about PCR tests?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Reading Time: 5 minutes


On January 13, information agency News-Front published the member of the initiative group „Society and the State” Shorena Shanidze’s interview with the newspaper “ალია” [Alia].


In an interview, Shorena Shanidze says that the World Health Organization made a statement and admitted that PCR tests are futile when it comes to coronavirus detection.

Shorena Shanidze, Society and the State:  Three days ago, the World Health Organization admitted PCR tests’ futility, and manipulation and that patient’s condition should be determined by the clinical presentation and not PCR tests.

Shorena Shanidze cites a quote and claims that it’s from the statement made by the WHO.  The text says that multiple cycles of PRC are 97% inaccurate and some governments deliberately use it to “justify excessive measures”.

 Moreover, the mentioned interview cites few more claims from Shorena Shanidze:

  1. The layers of a medical mask are much larger than the viral nucleus and the virus can penetrate all layers of the mask. As for the non-medical masks, it cannot protect us at all.
  2. In Germany, medical experts performed autopsies on those who died of coronavirus and determined that no one was infected with Sars-CoV-2;
  3. Vaccination aims not to protect the population from the virus, but to alter human DNA.

According to the data from CrowdTangle, as of January 20, an article published on the News-Front’s webpage has 24 shares, while the one on alia.ge has 174 shares. An identical interview was published by the click-bait webpage footbal.ge as well.


Shanidze’s interview contains several disinformations: 1. The WHO hasn’t admitted the “futility” of PCR tests, the organization’s statement notes that when diagnosing coronavirus,  patients’ clinical presentation and their contacts with confirmed cases should be taken into consideration together with PCT test results. 2. The WHO hasn’t made a statement about 97% inaccuracy of PCR tests. Such a statement belongs to an Irish doctor Vincent Carroll and other specialists in this field disagree.

The interview also repeats false claims about 3. masks being ineffective against coronavirus 4. autopsy conducted in Germany and 5. vaccine altering human DNA.

What does the World Health Organization write about PCR tests in the statement?

Quote cited by Shorena Shanidze cannot be found in the statements published on the World Health Organization’s webpage. On December 14, the WHO indeed published a statement about PCR tests, however, it doesn’t contain claims that PCR tests are futile or 97% inaccurate

The WHO writes that it received feedback from the users on increased risks of SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests false results.

Statement indeed notes that when diagnosing coronavirus medical personal should take the patient’s clinical presentations and symptoms, contact with confirmed cases, and other factors into consideration together with PCR test results. However, the WHO doesn’t state that PCR tests are futile or that it shouldn’t be used to determine coronavirus. The WHO emphasizes that when diagnosing COVID-19, the patient’s clinical presentation and contact history should be taken into consideration together with PCR test results.

At the end of the statement, the WHO advises PCR test users and writes that users should carefully read instructions before using the test. It also highlights the fact that medical personal should assess any result of COVID-19 tests, false or positive, together with clinical observation, patient’s medical history, and epidemiological information.

The claim that PCR tests are 97% inaccurate belongs to the Irish doctor and not the WHO

As for the quote about multiple cycles of PCR tests being 97% inaccurate, it doesn’t belong to the WHO. Such a statement was made by the Irish doctor Vincent Carroll. In the video disseminated on social network, Carroll notes that the coronavirus PCR test has a false-positive rate of 97%. His claim was fact-checked by the Irish digital edition thejournal.ie.

The Irish digital edition contacted PCR test experts who debunked Vicent Carrol’s claim with counterarguments. Michael Mina, a professor at Harvard, says that Dr. Carrol’s claim is false and that actually, PCR primers  (short, single-stranded DNA sequence) are the reason why the PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 will only pick up that specific virus and not any other coronaviruses.

Dr. De Gascun spoke to thejournal.ie and said that for SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests, the true false-positive rate is between 0.1 and 0.2%.

According to Canadian doctor Bullard, a positive PCR result confirms that the person has had Covid-19, even if they were asymptomatic

PCR test is a gold standard in diagnosing COVID-19 and is recommended by the WHO, as well as European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is a method for amplifying genetic material to study it and detect the genetic material of the virus. With one cycle, any genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 is amplified in two, and the process continues until the material is enough to determine positive or negative test results. Read more about PCR tests in the article prepared by “Myth Detector”:

Is the coronavirus test dangerous?

  • მClaim that masks aren’t effective protection against coronavirus is false

According to Shorena Shanidze, the mask cannot protect humans from the virus because layers of the mask are much larger than the viral nucleus and the virus can still penetrate the mask. The aforesaid claim is false because even though viral particles are significantly smaller than mask layers, particles cannot move on its own and need respiratory droplets for it. Those respiratory droplets are blocked by the mask.

COVID-19 particle is 0.1 micron in size, however, it doesn’t exist separately and always moves with much larger particle, for example, respiratory droplets that are produced when speaking, breathing, and coughing. Such droplets are blocked by the medical as well as non-medical masks.

Read more about the masks in the article prepared by the “Myth Detector”:
Do Wearing Face Masks Protect Us from COVID-19?

  • Claim as if in Germany, the autopsy of those who died of coronavirus determined that they weren’t infected with Sars-CoV-2 is false

In an interview, Shorena Shanidze notes that in Germany, medical experts performed the autopsy on those who died of coronavirus and determined that they weren’t actually infected with the virus. The aforesaid statement is disinformation based on the fake quote by Klaus Püschel,  director of the Hamburg Institute of Forensic Medicine, who allegedly said that “a healthy person has never died of Sars-CoV-2.”

On this topic, read an article prepared by the “Myth Detector”:
6 ტყუილი COVID-19-ზე, ვაქცინებზე და დაპატენტებულ ვირუსებზე

  • Claim that vaccination aims to alter human DNA is a conspiracy

Shanidze’s claim that vaccination aims not to protect the population from the virus, but to alter human DNA is a conspiracy theory.

Similar to other coronaviruses, COVID-19 is an RNA virus, which means that its genetic information is stored in RNA. Therefore, a vaccine to counter COVID-19 was developed based on RNA and not DNA. It’s worth mentioning that  RNA is chemically different from DNA, making it impossible for RNA to directly integrate into DNA and thus, to change a person’s genome.

On this topic, read an article prepared by the “Myth Detector”:
Luciferin – a dark conspiracy or a bright biochemical reaction?

Data from CrowdTangle, a public insights tool owned and operated by Facebook.    .

The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Violation: Disinformation
Country: Germany, ВОЗ
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