A Portuguese court found the isolated use of nothing but a PCR-test is 'not fit for purpose'.
The purpose here being the ordered quarantine of those merely 'tested positive'.
The court concluded that a PCR test alone was insufficient to diagnose the illness or to determine infectivity of any person tested, and was insufficient grounds for forced isolation of individuals. The court required the diagnosis of a qualified medical doctor on top of the results by the PCR test.
Detaining individuals on the results of a (possibly non-specific) PCR test was therefore seen as illegal in Portugal.
Note: it is quite the point to observe which purpose 'the' PCR-test was found to be unfit for: diagnosis for the purpose of forced detainment. Further, the initial act complained against resulted in detention of close contacts to 'a PCR-positive person'.
The ruling is found summarised here:
PROCESSO N.º 1783/20.7T8PDL.L1-3 covid Tribunal da Relação de Lisboa
Data 11 de novembro de 2020
Descritores Habeas corpus Interesse em agir SARS-CoV-2 Testes RT-PCR
Privação da liberdade Detenção ilegal
I. The ARS cannot appeal against a decision ordering the immediate release of
four persons for illegal detention in the context of a habeas corpus
procedure (art. 220 als. c) and d) of the C.P.Criminal), requesting
that the compulsory confinement of the applicants be validated because
they are carriers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (A....) and because they are
under active surveillance for high-risk exposure decreed by the health
authorities (B..., C.... and D.....) because they have no legitimacy
or interest in acting.
II. The application was also dismissed as manifestly unfounded:
A. Prescription and diagnosis are medical acts for which a doctor is
exclusively responsible and which are registered with the Medical
Association (Regulation No 698/2019 of 5.9).
Thus, the prescription of diagnostic aids (such as tests for the
detection of viral infection), as well as the diagnosis of the
existence of an illness, in relation to each and every person, is a
matter which cannot be carried out by law, resolution, decree,
regulation or any other normative means, as these are acts which our
legal system reserves to the exclusive competence of a doctor, it
being certain that the latter, in advising his patient, should always
seek to obtain his informed consent (Article 6(1) of the Universal
Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights).
B. In the case in question, there is no indication or proof that such
a diagnosis has actually been made by a qualified professional under
the terms of the Law and who has acted in accordance with good medical
practice. In fact, what emerges from the facts given as evidence is
that none of the applicants has even been seen by a doctor, which is
frankly inexplicable, given the alleged seriousness of the infection.
C. The only element in the proven facts in this respect is the
carrying out of RT-PCR tests, one of which showed a positive result
for one of the applicants.
D. In the light of the current scientific evidence, that test alone is
incapable of establishing beyond reasonable doubt that such a positive
result in fact corresponds to a person's infection with the SARS-CoV-2
virus, for a number of reasons, including two (in addition to the
question of the gold standard which, because of its specific nature,
we will not even address): This reliability depends on the number of
cycles that make up the test; Because this reliability depends on the
amount of viral load present.
III. Any diagnosis or any act of health surveillance (such as the
determination of the existence of viral infection and high risk of
exposure, which are covered by these concepts) made without prior
medical observation to the patients and without the intervention of a
doctor registered with OM (who would evaluate their signs and
symptoms, as well as the examinations that he considered appropriate
to their condition), violates Regulation No. 6/2002. 698/2019, of 5.9,
as well as the provisions of article 97 of the Statute of the Order of
Physicians, being liable to constitute the crime of usurpation of
functions, p. and p. by article 358 al.b), of the Criminal Code.
IV. Any person or entity issuing an order, the content of which is
extended to the deprivation of physical liberty, on an out-patient
basis, of others (whatever nomenclature this order may be called:
confinement, isolation, quarantine, prophylactic custody, health
surveillance, etc.), which does not comply with the legal provisions,
namely the provisions of art. 27 of the CRP, will be making an illegal
arrest, because it is ordered by an incompetent entity and because it
is motivated by a fact for which the law does not allow it. (Summary
prepared by the rapporteur)
The full 34 pages are to be read here.