COVID-19Fake News

Lancet Clinical Laboratories speaks on Covid19 Testing

Lancet Clinical Laboratories is aware of queries that have been raised on social media regarding the case of a traveller who took 3 COVID19 tests in 72 hours and received two negative results, with a positive test result coming from Lancet’s PCR test and allegations of a Lancet staff member offering to change test results.

We take any allegations of attempted fraud seriously and have launched an internal investigation into the allegations that a member of our staff offered to change test results and we will issue a public statement once investigations are over. In the meantime, We would like to assure the public that our results come directly from our lab testing equipment and cannot be altered after the fact. There is no room for human error or trickery in the issuance of results once they are determined in the lab.

Lancet Laboratories is the only pathology service provider in Zimbabwe, with ISO certification in molecular biology, which covers PCR testing (SANAS ISO 15189:2012 Certificate number M0584).
Lancet’s team of dedicated staff operates world-class equipment which has the technical ability to detect the new and more virulent strains of SAR-CoV2 (Covid19) that have emerged from Brazil, the UK and South Africa, which may not be detectable on other PCR platforms.

Therefore, a patient can test positive on one platform and negative on other platforms that might not be able to detect the mutations in SARS-CoV2 gene (Covid 19). In the wave of a deadly pandemic, false negative tests are far more detrimental than false positives as they may lead to infected and infectious people unknowingly spreading the virus to the vulnerable as they wrongly believe they are Covid19 negative.

Of the three test result slips shared on social media, one was a negative antigen test and the other two were PCR tests, one of which was negative and the other positive.

Negative Antigen test; a new CDC study compared two tests that can detect an active COVID-19 infection: PCR tests and rapid antigen tests. Researchers found that for those showing symptoms, rapid tests were right 80% of the time. In those not showing symptoms, accuracy dropped to just 41.2%. This means if the person who took the test had no symptoms as yet but had covid19, there would only be a 40% chance of getting a positive result. As such, we recommend getting a follow-up PCR test from a trusted laboratory such as Lancet Clinical Laboratories to confirm positive and negative antigen test results.

Negative PCR test; the most reliable test at finding positive Covid19 cases is the PCR test, which is most accurate when the sample is taken and processed by the same laboratory. No test is perfect however and as PCR tests test for genetic components of the SARS Cov 2 virus that causes covid19, some older PCR tests may miss new variants of the virus such as those that have spread across the UK, Brazil and South Africa. As such, if you have conflicting PCR test results or have tested negative whilst having symptoms, we recommend taking Lancet’s PCR test which uses the latest equipment and is likely to find the newer covid19 strains.


Positive PCR test from Lancet Laboratories; at Lancet, we use the latest versions of the most accurate tests and have been abreast of global pathology trends for the past 50 years. Our process, staff and equipment are highly certified and thanks to the latest PCR testing equipment, we are more likely to detect the new, more virulent covid19 strains through PCR testing.


We would like to assure the public that Lancet Clinical Laboratories’ PCR test is reliable and uses modern and up to date equipment for detecting Covid19 infection and in particular the new strains.
At Lancet, we are confident in our pathology processes, cutting edge equipment and the quality of our results and remain committed to providing a world-class standard of care.

We are investigating the allegations of an offer to change results and we will issue out a public statement upon completion of the investigation. Should any member of the public have any queries or issues with Lancet, we encourage them to get in touch with us directly. We are always available to engage as we continuously seek to maintain our quality of service.


We understand that this is a complex field that has been thrust upon the general public due to the challenges of Covid19 and that as a result, there are likely to be questions about which tests to take, what results mean and how to verify them. As such, Lancet Laboratories will be sharing a series of informative materials to assist the general public to understand the processes attached to Covid19 testing.


Tendai Guvamombe
the authorTendai Guvamombe