DIY Covid-19 test kits to be sold at pharmacies from June 16

Singaporean 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 the help of swabs or medical professionals, and Singaporeans can administer the test themselves at home.

Following its announcement, the Department of Health (MOH) announced today (June 10) that four brands of Covid-19 rapid antigen (ART) test kits for self-testing will be sold by the pharmacists from June 16.

They include the Abbott PanBio COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test, the QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test, the SD Biosensor SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Nasal Self-Test, and the SD Biosensor Standard Q COVID-19 Ag Home Test.

These self-test kits have received provisional approval from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for sale to the general public.

According to the Department of Health, these test kits are simple to use and can be self-administered.

“Starting next week, June 16, these kits will be distributed by pharmacists in some retail pharmacies. We will then gradually open up counter sales in more retail stores, ”Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said at a press conference of the multi-ministerial task force.

Sales will initially be limited to 10 ART kits per person to ensure there are “adequate supplies for all,” added Department of Health Director of Medical Services Kenneth Mak.

However, as more supplies become available for retail sale, authorities “will eventually allow the free purchase of test kits,” he said.

Mak added that the self-test kits “complement” Singapore’s comprehensive surveillance strategy.

“These quick and easy-to-use tests allow us to detect infected cases more quickly, especially in people who do not have symptoms of acute respiratory infection, but who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19,” said he declared.

What happens if you have a negative result?

These self-test kits can produce results in less than 20 minutes.

Those who test positive on these self-test kits should immediately see a Swab and Return Home Public Health Preparedness (SASH PHPC) clinic for a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. ).

They must then self-isolate until they receive a negative PCR test result.

During this time, those whose ART self-test is negative should continue to remain vigilant and adhere to the safe management measures in force.

“People who show symptoms of ARI should continue to see a doctor for a full diagnosis and PCR test instead of relying on an ART self-test kit,” the ministry said.

Featured image credit: iStock

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