Members of the public will soon be able to purchase antigen rapid test (ART) self-test kits at pharmacies in Singapore from June 16, 2021.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced today (June 10) that the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has granted interim authorisation for four ART self-test kits to be sold to the general public via retail pharmacies. They are:
- Abbott PanBio Covid-19 Antigen Self-test
- 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
These tests can be self-administered and can produce results in less than 20 minutes.
Available at Guardian, Unity, and Watsons retail pharmacies from June 16
They will available at Guardian, Unity, and Watsons retail pharmacies from June 16, and subsequently at more retail locations progressively.
More information on the kits, including how to use them and interpret the results, will be made available via various media channels, and on the MOH website from June 16 as well.
To ensure that there are adequate supplies for all, each person can only purchase up to 10 ART kits initially.
The ministry said that these self-test kits will allow it to detect cases more quickly, particularly among individuals who do not have acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms but are concerned that they may have been exposed to Covid-19.
Those who attain a positive result from their ART self-test should approach a Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic (SASH PHPC) immediately to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the diagnosis.
They must self-isolate until they receive a negative PCR test result.
Unlike the ART test, a PCR test is more sensitive and delivers a more accurate result. Corresponding, a PCR test result takes longer to return — around two days.
The ministry also advises individuals with acute respiratory infection symptoms to visit a doctor for a full diagnosis and PCR test instead of relying on an ART self-test kit.
Top images via Quidel Corporation and Abbott.