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As you are all aware by now, the COVID 19 ART self test kit will be made available at all major pharmacies from June 16th in Singapore. The Ministry has stated that each person can only buy up to a maximum of 10 test kits and the indicative price from Watson is about $10-$13 (SGD).
These Kits have a specificity of about 99.95% Which means to say that if you are tested positive on these kits, the chance that the results may be wrong is only 0.05% So these are highly accurate test kits.
Contents in kit
There are about 4 brands of test kit that are being sold currently. Please read the instructions in your kit before performing the test as they may differ slightly depending on the brand.
All kits would come with a :
- Swab stick
2) Reagent bottle
3) Test strip or test cartridge
- Remember to wash your hands before starting the test.
- Clear your nose first.
- Then tear open the package containing the swab stick from the side without the bud - remove the stick, ensuring that you do not touch the soft part of the swab.
- Insert the swab about 2cm up your nostril and twist it around 3-4 times. Repeat the process on the other nostril.
- Once done , dip the swab stick into the reagent bottle, stir it well and leave it there for about a minute.
- Following which, you squeeze the side of the reagent bottle as you pull the swab stick up. Throw it away.
- Now, the kit that is being used here comes with a test cartridge with a well. Cap the reagent bottle up and drip 3 drops of solution into the well. We will wait 15-20 minutes for the result.
Please read the product label on how to interprate the results. Generally if you see two stripes on the result strip , it usually indicates a positive result.
What to do if positive
If the results are positive, please head down to your nearest SASH PHPC CLINIC or POLYCLINIC or Regional swab centre immediately for a confirmatory PCR swab test. Do not go anywhere else. To find your nearest swab medical facility - search flu.gowhere.gov.sg.
By : Dr Chen Yiming
Family Physician, MBBS (Singapore), GDFM (NUS), GDFP Dermatology (NUS)