Singaporeans Can Now Get Tested for COVID-19 With ART Self-Test Kits

Singaporeans Can Now Get Tested for COVID-19 With ART Self-Test Kits

They are quick and simple to use!

Singapore has kicked off the sale of COVID-19 self-test kits as of 16 June 2021. They will be available at major retail pharmacies: Guardian, Watsons and Unity. The purpose of the self-test kits is to expedite testing processes and make them accessible.

Those who are worried that they may have contracted COVID-19 and wish to allay their fears can get their hands on four types of antigen rapid test (ART) kits. They are:

  • Abbott PanBio Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test
  • Quidel QuickVue At-Home OTC Covid-19 Test
  • SD Biosensor Sars-CoV-2 Antigen Self-Test Nasal
  • SD Biosensor Standard Q Covid-19 Ag Home Test

Each individual will initially only be allowed to purchase a maximum of 10 ART kits. This is to ensure that there are adequate stocks for the masses.

Also read: Anchorvale, Sengkang Among Locations with COVID Exposure: What to Do & Where to Get Tested

How does the ART self-test kit detect COVID-19?

covid-19 self test kit

Image credit: Mufid Majnun

According to the Ministry of Health, ART self-test kits screens for SARS-CoV-2 — a virus that causes COVID-19. It can pick up any possible infection at the early stages. Not only is it easy and safe to administer, the result will be ready in less than 20 minutes. You can refer to this simple guide to the ART self-test kit here

What is the accuracy rate?

As stated by the Health Science Authority, ART detects the viral proteins in the nasal swab samples of infected individuals. It usually works best in the early stages of infection. Generally, ART can achieve a sensitivity of about 80% for cases with higher viral loads and a specificity range of 97-100%. 

However, with a lower sensitivity than Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, ART has a higher chance of false negative results. The following can cause false negative results:

  • Incorrect sample preparation or testing process when using the test
  • Low viral protein level in the user’s nasal sample (one to two days from potential exposure) 

As such, those who have acute respiratory infection symptoms should consult a doctor instead of administering an ART self-test kit. 

Also read: Singapore-Australia Travel Bubble: Students to Test Pilot Scheme

What happens after self-testing for COVID-19?

If you have a positive test or two invalid tests results:

  1. Take a photo of your result with your identification document (NRIC/passport) next to it.
  2. Dispose of your ART test kit safely and properly.
  3. Don a face mask and avoid large crowds.
  4. Visit a Swab and Send Home (SASH) clinic listed here for a confirmatory PCR test via dedicated private transport.
  5. Self-isolate until you receive a negative PCR test result. 
  6. Refer to the FAQs for more information.

If you have a negative test result:

  1. Dispose of your ART test kit safely and properly.
  2. Continue to adhere to safe management measures and stay vigilant.

As Singapore eases COVID-19 restrictions, the ART self-test kits will offer Singaporeans more flexibility and options to get tested for the disease. Additionally, it is convenient and does not burn a hole in one’s pocket.

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Ifah Sakinah
Ifah Sakinah

Sakinah has a discerning palate and an innate desire to satisfy her inner curiosity. While she hasn't been everywhere, it's definitely on her list.


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