Lifestyle

COVID-19 Self-Test Kits Will Be Sold At 3 Pharmacies From June 16

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Key Highlights

  • The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has granted interim authorization for four Antigen Rapid Test (ART) self-test kits.
  • These self-test kits will be available from June 16 at Guardian, Watsons, and Unity pharmacies.
  • Sales will be initially limited to 10 self-test kits per person.

In line with Singapore’s strategy to increase the rate of testing and to quickly detect COVID-19 cases, self-administered test kits will go on sale from June 16. These self-test kits will be helpful for front-liners who want to test themselves frequently or for individuals who are concerned about being infected.

The four Antigen Rapid Test (ART) self-test kits include the Abbott PanBio COVID-19 Antigen Self-test, SD Biosensor SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Self-Test Nasal, QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test, and SD Biosensor Standard Q COVID-19 Ag Home Test.

These self-test kits can be used by consumers to detect active SARS-CoV-2 infection in nasal swab samples. ARTs can generally achieve a sensitivity of about 80% for cases with higher viral loads and a specificity range of 97-100%. Since these self-test kits are meant to be used by consumers (i.e., even without training), they can be bought without a physician’s prescription.

WHERE TO BUY

The self-test kits will be available at selected Guardian, Unity, and Watsons outlets islandwide. More retail locations will soon carry the self-test kits. This will be done in a progressive fashion.

A recent interview of a Dairy Farm Group spokesperson stated that the Abbott PanBioTM COVID-19 Antigen Self-test and the QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test will be available at selected Guardian outlets. All 79 Guardian stores with an in-store pharmacy will carry the COVID-19 self-test kits including the Guardian store at the Giant outlet in Suntec City.

THE COST OF PURCHASE

A spokesperson for Watsons stressed that it would adhere to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) recommended guidelines for the selling price of the self-test kits. Thus, the price range is from S$10 to S$13 per self-test kit. Prices will depend on the size of the pack purchased.

To ensure that there will be “adequate supplies for all”, the Health Ministry’s Director of Medical Services Kenneth Mak said that sales will initially be limited to 10 self-test kits per person.

HOW IT WORKS

Start by collecting your nasal sample using the swabs provided in the self-test kits. Then, prepare the nasal sample with the extraction buffer tube provided. Once your sample is ready, you should examine the test device and read the results. Do not worry about the waiting time! The Health Ministry said that these ART self-test kits produce results in less than 20 minutes.

Please carefully read the instructions that come with these kits to get valid results. Consumers who test negative on their self-test kits should continue to adhere to the prevailing safe management measures.

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While those who test positive on their self-test kits should immediately approach a Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic (SASH PHPC). SASH PHPC will conduct a confirmatory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. You are required to self-isolate until you get a negative PCR test result.

Sources: 1 & 2

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