Why Swiss school students are pouring orange juice on their Covid tests

School students in Switzerland have been using acidic drinks such as juice and cola to manipulate Covid tests.

Orange juice can be used to trick Covid tests. Photo by Mateusz Feliksik on Unsplash
Orange juice can be used to trick Covid tests. Photo by Mateusz Feliksik on Unsplash

The acid in the juice tricks the test into showing a positive result. Due to the acidity, the second strip on the test is triggered, meaning that it displays as if it was a positive test. 

Pregnancy tests can also be triggered in the same way. 

Just two or three drops of the liquid are enough to produce a positive test, with cola and other soft drinks also effective. 

The students then show the positive test to their teachers or their parents in order to get days off school. 

According to Swiss news outlet Tages Anzeiger, knowledge of the trick has spread through social media sites like TikTok. 

The trick was reported as early as summer of 2021 in the UK, but teachers and parents have only been made aware of the trick relatively recently. 

Teachers however told Swiss media that although knowledge had spread of the trick, they were confident most students would not use it “as they want to come to school”. 

Switzerland currently has a Covid measure in place which requires people to isolate if they test positive for the virus, although this is set to be phased out on April 1st. 

READ MORE: Switzerland to deactivate SwissCovid app

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‘Over a million people’ in Switzerland could be infected with Covid this summer

Though Covid has not been a nationwide problem in Switzerland during recent several months, the virus is circulating again and rates of contamination are expected to soar in the coming weeks.

'Over a million people' in Switzerland could be infected with Covid this summer

While the new wave has not been expected to hit before fall or winter,  Swiss health officials now say 15 percent of Swiss population — more than 1 million people — could catch the virus before then.

This is a large number, considering that a total of 3.7 million people in Switzerland got infected since the beginning of the pandemic on February 24th, 2020.

“More than 80,000 new contaminations per week” are expected in the next two months, according to Tanja Stadler, the former head of the Covid-19 Task Force — much more than during the past two summers, when the rate of infections slowed down.

At the moment, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) reports 24,704 new cases in the past seven days — double of what it was in April.

“The numbers are expected to continue to rise. Note that most of infected people will not be tested, so the number of confirmed cases will be smaller on paper than in reality”, Stadler added.

Although according to FOPH, nearly all cases in Switzerland (99 percent) are caused by Omicron and its sub-variants, which are less severe that the original Covid viruses, “more vulnerable people are likely to end up in hospital, and long Covid cases are also likely to rise”, she said.

Stadler also noted that Omicron virus can’t be compared with the flu, “because we observe long-term consequences much more often during an infection with Omicron than during the flu. Also, Covid can trigger very large waves, even in summer, while large flu outbreaks are rare at this time of year”.

There is, however, some positive news.

“The most recent data shows that 97 percent of the adult population in Switzerland has antibodies against Covid thanks to vaccinations and previous infections”, Stadler said.

Also, “in the long term, things will stabilise. But in the years to come, there will probably be waves in the summer too”.

READ MORE: UPDATE: When will Switzerland roll out second Covid boosters?