Compulsory quarantine deemed illegal

Lisbon Court of Appeal issues judgement

Appeal Court gavel - quarantine found to be illegal

The Portugal News reports that the Court of Appeal in Lisbon has decided that quarantine in state of alert is illegal.

They have deemed that a PCR test “is unable to determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, that such positivity result corresponds, in fact, to the infection of a person by the SARS-CoV-2 virus”.

The Court of Appeal also considered that the quarantine period imposed by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) during the state of alert is illegal. The judgment states that the judges ruled that such a situation (quarantine) can only be taken in a state of emergency (which is now in force in Portugal).

The decision, taken on 11 November, which has as its object an appeal by the Regional Health Administration of the Azores, following a request for habeas corpus – immediate release – of four German citizens who had been forced by the health authority to comply with quarantine for 14 days in a hotel room

According to the process: “There is no evidence that this diagnosis was actually carried out by a professional qualified under the Law and who had acted in accordance with good medical practices. These acts are reserved for the exclusive competence of a doctor”.

… and the reliability of PCR tests “more than debatable”

PCR test
Corona virus test kit – Swab sample for PCR DNA testing

The Portugal Resident reports fom a different angle on the case, saying that that “with the country assailed daily by news of rising case numbers, judges in Lisbon have described the reliability of tests being rolled out in their tens of thousands as more than debatable”. The Judges quote from a study in the Oxford Academic that suggests only 3% of positive tests declared by health authorities – such as Portgal’s DGS – may be ‘true positives’.

The 34-page ruling on an appeal against a writ of habeas corpus filed by four German tourists ‘illegally confined’ to a hotel in the Azores over the summer leaves no doubt that a positive PCR test cannot be taken on face value.

The Portugal Resident rightly points out that few media sources however have touched on this aspect of the Lisbon Appeal Court ruling – “and those that have have given it the scantest of mentions”, preferring to highlight the quarantine ruling.

The ruling cites a study conducted by “some of the leading European and world specialists in this material” published by the Oxford Academic at the end of September.

“At a cycle threshold (ct) of 25, about 70% of samples remain positive in cell culture (i.e. were infected): in a ct of 30, 20% of samples remained positive; in a ct of 35, 3% of samples remained positive and in a ct above 35, no sample remained positive (infectious) in the culture”.

“This means that if a person has a positive PCR test at a threshold of cycles of 35 or higher (as happens in most laboratories in the USA and Europe), the chances of a person being infected is less than 3%. The probability of a person receiving a false positive is 97% or higher”.

The Appeal Court judges went on to cite a second study, published in the Lancet, that suggests “any diagnostic tests should be interpreted in the context of the effective possibility of the disease existing” before the test is actually carried out. 

The Portugal Resident observes “Portugal – which logs ‘thousands of asymptomatic cases every day’, obliging them all to go into quarantine”.

Thanks to Peter for the link

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found on a previous post

6 thoughts on “Compulsory quarantine deemed illegal”

  1. The question begs, what does this mean in real terms? If your test at CR7 comes up as positive can the authorities hold you in quarantine? Can you demand to be re-tested by a doctor after a couple of days?

    It will be interesting to see whats effects this adjudication has.

  2. “The Judges quote from a study in the Oxford Academic that suggests only 3% of positive tests declared by health authorities – such as Portgal’s DGS – may be ‘true positives”

    As has been proven time and time again


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