Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on May 31 that do-it-yourself (DIY) Covid-19 test kits will soon be available for purchase at Watsons, Guardian and Unity pharmacies in Singapore.
Unlike nasal and throat swabs, the DIY test kit does not require assistance from swabbers or medical professionals, and Singaporeans can administer the test themselves at home.
Following his announcement, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced today (June 10) that four brands of Covid-19 antigen rapid test (ART) kits for self-testing will be sold by pharmacists from June 16.
They include Abbott PanBio COVID-19 Antigen Self-test, QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test, SD Biosensor SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Self-Test Nasal, and SD Biosensor Standard Q COVID-19 Ag Home Test.
These self-test kits have received interim authorisation from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) to be sold to the general public.
According to MOH, these test kits are simple to use and can be self-administered.
“From next week, June 16, these kits will be dispensed by pharmacists at selected retail pharmacies. We will then open up for counter sales at more retail locations progressively,” said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung at a multi-ministry task force press conference.
Sales will initially be limited to 10 ART kits per person to ensure that there are “adequate supplies for all”, added the Health Ministry’s director of medical services Kenneth Mak.
However, as more supplies are made available for retail sales, authorities will “eventually allow test kits to be freely purchased”, he said.
Mak further added that the self-test kits “complement” Singapore’s overall surveillance strategy.
“These fast and easy to use tests allow us to detect infected cases more quickly, in particular among individuals who do not have acute respiratory infection symptoms, but are concerned that they may have been exposed to COVID-19,” he said.
What happens if you have a negative result?
These self-testing kits can produce results in less than 20 minutes.
Those who have a positive result on these self-test kits should immediately approach a Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic (SASH PHPC) for a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
They are then required to self-isolate until they receive a negative PCR test result.
Meanwhile, those who test negative on their self-test ART should continue to stay vigilant and adhere to prevailing safe management measures.
“Individuals who have ARI symptoms should continue to visit a doctor for a full diagnosis and PCR test instead of relying on an ART self-test kit,” the ministry said.
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