Students in Britain are using orange juice to get fake positive Covid-19 test results to get excused from school, The Guardian reported on Saturday.
The trick, which requires using a Covid lateral flow test, “is not a result of the juice containing the virus. Rather it appears to be linked to its acidity, which essentially breaks the test”, said an expert.
A rapid flow test is usually self-administered and shows results after 30 minutes. A sample is taken inside the mouth and nose using a swab which is then soaked in a liquid and squeezed onto a test strip.
The same positive results have reportedly been seen by using other liquids including ketchup and Coca-Cola, according to the report.
One UK science teacher told the Guardian that students “say it’s a great way to get two weeks off school”.
The Guardian also reported that the hack had gone viral on the video sharing app TikTok where pupils were testing out different liquids.
“There have been more than 6.5 million views of videos uploaded to the social media platform under the search term #fakecovidtest,” The Guardian reported.
However, upon checking, Al Arabiya English discovered that TikTok has since removed all videos under the hashtag.
“This phrase may be associated with behaviour or content that violates our guidelines,” the TikTok search results page showed.
A professor of biostatistics at the University of Birmingham criticised the practice, according to The Guardian.
“False positives affect not just that child but their family and their bubble at school, so it is a pretty selfish thing to do. There are less harmful ways to fake a day off school,” Jon Deeks was quoted as saying.
Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, urged parents to ensure tests are being used properly, adding, the best place for students who are interested in learning more about chemical reactions is in schools.