PCR test

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Health, they should respond promptly and normally no later than (details).

Dear Department of Health,

I am requesting this under the freedom of information act of 1982.

Please provide:

1. Evidence that demonstrates detectable differences between Covid variants through PCR testing - that is, how do you know what variant someone has?

2. How can the PCR test distinguish between normal flu virus and sars cov2 virus?

3. Are PCR test cycles set above the tolerance recommended by the WHO?

Yours faithfully,

Josh Marks

FOI, Department of Health

Good morning


I am writing to notify you that the Department of Health (department) received your request on 29 August 2021 for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act) being:

Documents relating to PCR testing

The statutory timeframe for processing your request is 30 calendar days within which a decision on access to the requested documents is to be notified. The department may impose a charge for the work involved in providing access to the documents.  If this request attracts a charge you will be notified in writing.

Unless you advise otherwise, draft and duplicate documents, along with Commonwealth employee names and contact details below Senior Executive Service level and mobile telephone numbers of all staff will be excluded from the scope of your request under s22(1)(a)(ii) of the FOI Act.

Request for extension of time 
As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the department is dealing with a very high volume of FOI requests. To ensure the department can process your request in accordance with the requirements of the FOI Act, including locating and providing access to all relevant documents, the department would be grateful if you would agree to an extension of 30 calendar days for processing your request.  If you agree, the department will endeavour to provide a decision to you by 28 October 2021.

Please contact the department by 2 September 2021 with your decision to the 30 day extension of processing time.

You can contact the FOI Unit via email at [email address], should you have any questions.
Kind regards

Team Leader - Freedom of Information
Legal Advice & Legislation Branch

Legal and Assurance Division | Corporate Operations Group
Australian Government Department of Health
GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

The Department of Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Australia and their continued connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to all Elders past and present. 
Please note that this email and attachments may contain confidential or legally privileged information. Please consult with Legal Division before disclosing any part of this email, or attachment, outside the Department. If you receive this email in error, please delete it and contact the sender immediately

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Dear FOI,

I agree to your request to extend for another 30 days.

Yours sincerely,

Josh Marks

Jackson Smith left an annotation ()

Variants aren't detected by the test itself - they're detected through genome sequencing. This article might help you https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021.... This one might assist you in regards to your question about differentiating flu and COVID in the test https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-30/c...