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Antigen Rapid Testing 101: Clinic or Self test?

Should you go to a clinic for a swab test or use an ART (Antigen-Rapid Test) self test kit?

With various types of swabs, test centers, and guidelines, it can be confusing to figure out whether and where you should be swabbed.

Let’s break it down into 3 groups.

1. Well for Pre-Event Testing (PET)

Go to an approved clinic/provider if you are well and are planning to attend an event, business, or other activities requiring PET. MOH has implemented the use of PET to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread. There are specific criteria to meet, including how the test is conducted and validity within a specified time, which our clinic is approved to carry out and assist with.

Individuals that are exempt from PET include:

- Persons who have recovered from COVID-19 infection (270 days from the first positive swab date)

- Persons who have completed the full regimen of nationally recognised COVID-19 vaccines (365 days starting from 14 days after completing their 2nd dose)

Our clinic provides PET Exemption notice certification if you fall into the category of recovered patients.

2. Worried Well

Perhaps you have been near a COVID-19 cluster, or there is a concern about spread near your community but you aren’t having any symptoms at the moment and have not received any invitation for swab. Self test kits may be a good option for you. They are quick and easy, taking less than 20 minutes to complete.

ARTs have a sensitivity (ability of a test to identify patients with the disease) of about 80% for cases with higher viral loads and a specificity (ability of a test to identify patients without the disease) range of 97-100%

The purpose of these kits are to be a quick screening tool to pick up possible infection early, especially for those who want to put their mind at ease.

If you have been alerted and invited to any COVID-19 testing by MOH because of close contacts or visits to clusters, you may proceed to PHPC clinics like Intemedical clinic to have a subsidised ART done.

3. Sick with Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) symptoms

If you have any acute respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough or runny nose, you should visit a Swab and Send Home (SASH) clinic to seek medical attention. Here you will be examined, swabbed and treated.

The swab tests performed may include both an ART for a quick assessment, as well as a nasal PCR swab. The PCR swab has higher sensitivity and thus better for picking up COVID-19 disease, but requires a longer turnaround time in the lab.

Patients can all enjoy fixed government subsidized prices for consultation and treatment - $10 for Singaporeans/ Permanent residents, $5 for Merdeka/Pioneer Generation seniors.

For PET related service,

- ANTIGEN RAPID TESTING: $37.45 NETT (Updated 1/1/22)

- Pre-event Testing (PET) Exemption Notice certification - $53.50 NETT

If you have any further questions about ART at the clinic vs self-test, please contact us at the following touchpoints.

How to make an appointment with Intemedical?

Appointment Portal: Kovan Clinic / Potong Pasir Clinic

(click and book with instant confirmation!)

WhatsApp: 8879 9404

(available during clinic opening hours, 8am to 12am)

Mobile: 8879 9404

(messaging preferred)

Landline: +65 3165 9251

(please be aware that the phone might be engaged due to high call volume)


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