S'pore allowing Covid-19 saliva testing as pre-departure tests for travellers

Local biomedical start-up trying to make service more widespread.

Belmont Lay | December 07, 2021, 07:22 PM

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Singapore has approved saliva testing as an option for Covid-19 pre-departure tests and local biomedical start-up Lucence is teaming up with clinics and telemedicine providers to offer this form of testing to travellers going overseas, The Straits Times reported, pending more information from the Ministry of Health.

However, at the moment, not all countries accept Covid-19 saliva tests.

The Lucence website said travellers should check if their destination countries accept Covid-19 saliva tests.

The United States, Australia, Canada and Japan currently accept saliva-based pre-departure tests.

Collecting saliva samples are less invasive and less uncomfortable than swabs taken through the back of the nose and mouth.

The saliva collection kit is known as Safer-Sample.

About 2ml of saliva is collected through a funnel connected to a collection tube.

A bottle of stabilisation fluid containing a reagent is then mixed into the sample.

The viral RNA is stabilised at room temperature for up to one week.

The collected samples will be sent to Lucence for analysis.

So far only two clinics in Singapore are offering the saliva test.

They are Gainhealth Clinic in Ang Mo Kio, and telemedicine company MyDoc.

The results of the saliva test will be available within 24 hours.

The price for the saliva test is about S$107 to S$200, the same as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests for pre-departure Covid-19 tests.

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