Update 2020-08-12. A push for more testing might have caused increase in the COVID-19 infection cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Some doctors require patients with COVID-19 symptoms to have a PCR test before prescribing HCQ-based treatment. More testing caused longer processing times. Consequently, many COVID-19 patients could not receive Hydroxychloroquine-based treatment in time. Some of them ended up in hospitals or even worse. Even patients, who got over it without visible consequences, carried a higher viral load for longer time and spread it wider, compared with those who received HCQ treatment immediately or after a short wait. Thus, excessive testing was harmful.
The testing numbers were increasing all the time. In the end of June, a push to suddenly increase the demand for PCR tests started, possibly under influence of somebody attempting to overwhelm the existing testing capacities.
Political interference with Hydroxychloroquine treatment of COVID-19 is the main cause of increases in new COVID-19 cases. Mandatory universal masking contributes to that, too. But excessive testing and higher sensitivity of the PCR tests can cause appearance of higher number of cases then there actually are.
PCR tests show false positives when they detect harmless RNA fragments of the C19 virus, long after the person has recovered from COVID-19 (with or without symptoms). The more testing done one more post-C19 people, the larger the share of false positives. Newer PCR tests are likely to be more sensitive. Thus, they are likely to give an even larger share of false positives.
The increase in C19 hospitalizations might be explained by more willingness to hospitalize C19 patients. When hospitals are ordered to turn away non-emergency patients to have room for C19, they are tempted to fill up the empty beds with C19 patients. Additionally, Gilead produced a lot of Remdesivir, which can only be used in a hospital setting. Naturally, more hospitalizations would allow for more Remdesivir use.
Read an informed opinion Coronavirus: Why everyone was wrong, based on Swiss experience.
Originally published on July 21.