DIY Covid-19 test kits will be sold in select retail pharmacies from June 16, Health News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Covid-19 self-test kits will be sold by pharmacists at Guardian, Unity and Watsons pharmacies from June 16, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Thursday June 10.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in an update from the multi-ministerial working group on Covid-19: “As we want to resume more activities, we need to make testing quick, easy and accessible. “

Sales will initially be limited to 10 rapid antigen test (ART) kits per person to ensure a sufficient supply for all.

They will gradually be available in a greater number of points of sale.

Singapore Medical Services Director Associate Professor Kenneth Mak said: “We will eventually allow free purchase of test kits as more ART test kits become available for retail sale.”

ART kits produce results in under 20 minutes, are simple to use, and can be self-administered, the Department of Health said.

Prof. Mak said: “The ART self-test kits complement our overall surveillance strategy.

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

This can be for people who have been to a location that a confirmed case has visited, for example.

The Department of Health said: “People who test positive for their ART self-test should immediately approach a swab and send home a public health preparation clinic for a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction test ( PCR).

“They are then required to self-isolate until they receive a negative PCR test result.”

Meanwhile, those with negative ART self-test tests should continue to remain vigilant and adhere to safe management measures in place, the health ministry said.

People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should also continue to see a doctor for a full diagnosis and PCR test instead of relying on an ART self-test kit, he added.

Professor Mak said: “Regular testing is key to our ability to reopen and will be part of our way of life. (They) allow us to detect and isolate cases in the community more quickly and will allow more ‘economic and social activities to continue, even if we detect cases and clusters.

“Testing also gives us greater assurance that our homes, stores and workplaces are safe.”

The four self-test kits that have received provisional clearance from the Health Sciences Authority for sale to the public are the Abbott PanBio Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test, QuickVue At-Home OTC Covid-19 Test, SD Biosensor Sars-CoV- 2 Antigen nasal self-test and SD Q Covid-19 Ag biosensor standard home test.

Further information on the ART kits will be available through various media channels and on the Ministry of Health website from June 16.

READ NEXT: Singapore to relax Covid-19 borders and reopen in 2 phases from June 14: everything you need to know

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