In August 2020, Singapore started opening its doors to travellers from selected countries, with safeguards in place. Intemedical Kovan was 1 of just 14 clinics chosen and approved by the Ministry of Health (MOH), to carry out what was then required, which were COVID-19 PCR nasal swab tests. Fast-forward 3 months later, as more borders became accessible to travellers, the government decided that it was time to allow all Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPC) to do the necessary pre-departure COVID-19 test, to prevent overcrowding of the existing 14 GP clinics from the large volume that was expected, with more travellers being expected. Not only that, some countries also started requesting for other tests to be done, and MOH eventually announced its stepping down from regulations of testing required by each country due to the difficulty to keep track of and manage all countries’ travel regulations.
Throughout this whole time, since August 2020, we continue to be committed to offering pre-departure COVID-19 testing, and remain steadfast in our mission to act in the best interests of our patients, as well as doing our best in ensuring that the patients who came to us and trusted us, are able to catch their flights.
Commonly Asked Questions
Does your clinic provide both COVID-19 PCR swab test and COVID-19 IgM Antibody Test?
Yes, we provide both the nasal swab PCR test, as well as the blood serology IgM antibody test.
How much does it cost for the COVID-19 tests?
The PCR nasal swab test is priced at $150 nett.
The blood serology IgM antibody test is priced at $55 nett.
Do i still need approval for a pre-departure test?
No, since Dec 2020, there is no need for prior approval by any agencies for anyone to obtain a COVID-19 PCR test in Singapore.
How long before my flight can I book my appointment for the test?
This will depend on the time determined by usually your destination country's embassy, and would usually be informed to you through your flight carrier as well. Most countries require the COVID-19 tests to be done 72 hours before the flight. Do also take note of whether "hours" or "days" was used in the travel advisory, as "hours" would mean that we specifically require your flight time in order to determine a suitable test timing.
How do we know if we need to follow strictly the 72 hours before the departure time, or if we can just do the test 3 days before the flight, before the departure timing (>72 hours)?
This depends on what is specifically stated on your travel advisory provided by the embassy, or the flight.
My embassy requires a memo stating that I am fit to fly and having no flu-like symptoms. Is this the same as the COVID-19 test memos?
No, this is a separate memo that requires the doctor to conduct a history-taking and physical examination, before certifying that you are free of any respiratory or influenza-like illness. This memo can be provided to the traveller immediately after the consult when the doctor has written the memo, and is completely separate from those who require COVID-19 test. Most of these patients usually come to the clinic for certification on the day of their flight itself.
Please ensure that you have read through your travel advisory completely to ensure that you are confirmed not requiring any COVID-19 test done prior to travelling.
How long does it take for the results to be out?
The turnaround time for both labs are quoted to us as 24-48 hours. Note that it applies to the time the specimen is collected by the lab. Hence, if you did your test at 10pm for example, it will only be dispatched to the lab the next day at approximately 10am. Once we receive the results from the lab, we will need some time to create the memo for you as well. However, we can assure you that we do our utmost best to keep the time within 48 hours from the time the sample is sent to the lab.
Why are you not able to provide us with a specific timing that the results will be out?
As mentioned above, we depend on the lab running the specimens to revert to us with the results, which has quoted us 24-48 hours turnaround time.
How many times a day will the lab come to collect the swab and blood specimens?
We use 2 different labs for the processing of the PCR swab samples, as well as the Antibody serology tests. Both labs provide collections twice a day. First collection will be at approximately 10am, while the second collection will be at approximately 3pm. This takes place everyday, 7 days a week. The lab dispatch may come slightly earlier or later, depending on their schedule that day.
Do your memos follow a specific format that is accepted by the China Embassy?
Our current COVID-19 PCR swab test and COVID-19 IgM Antibody Serology test memos are currently standardized by the government, and accepted by the China embassy.
What is included in the memos?
For both COVID-19 PCR swab and IgM antibody serology tests, the type of test, date and time of test done, date result is released, and the lab in charge of reporting the result will be included. For the PCR swab memo, it will be concluded with a sentence whether the traveller is fit or not fit to travel based on these results.
If my destination country Embassy requires any additional parts to be added to the memo, such as a formal clinic chop, what should I do?
In this case, please print out the number of copies of the memo that you require, and approach our clinic staff who will gladly assist you with stamping your memos.
Will you provide us a copy of our test result itself?
We typically only provide travellers with the memos as there is no requirement for travellers to submit the results on its own. If you would still like a copy of your results, kindly contact us after you have received the email with your memo, and inform us of your request.
Why is it so troublesome to have to password-protect the memo then send the password separately as a message to a phone number?
Our clinic decided to implement this 2-factor authorization for the purpose of patient privacy. The password code will be sent to the traveller/company via WhatsApp or SMS, and this will be used to open the encrypted document.
I would like to make an appointment. What are the ways I can go about this?
1. Appointment portal
2. WhatsApp or SMS the clinic handphone at 8879 9404, providing the following details:
Name of traveller
Contact number of traveller/employer/agent
Transit country (if any) and time of arrival
Date of departure
Time of departure
How many days or hours before flight can tests be done
What tests are required - PCR, IgM, or both
Have you ever tested positive for COVID-19 in the past and when?
Is additional fit to fly memo with physical examination required?
Preferred date of test*
Preferred time of test*
*Please note we may recommend you another day or time depending on your flight and tests required
3. Call the clinic handphone number at 8879 9404 (messaging preferred)
4. Call our clinic directly at 6243 3036 (please be aware that the phone might be engaged if on a call due to high call volume)
What should I bring along on the day of the testing? What preparations should I make prior to the testing? Is there a need to fast for the test?
There is no need to fast at all for both the PCR nasal swab tests and the blood serology IgM antibody tests, although please let us know if you have had a positive COVID-19 result in the past, but have recovered from it. The best thing you can do is to keep calm as the swab is introduced into each nostril and specimens are obtained from the back of the nose. The blood draw will typically take place from one side of the elbow, where the veins are typically larger.
What happens if any of my test results come back positive?
If your COVID-19 PCR nasal swab result comes back as positive, you will be contacted by MOH officials to be sent to the hospital for further evaluation. Unfortunately in this case you will not be able to make your flight.
If your COVID-19 antibody serology comes back positive, a 7-day stay home notice (SHN) is required from the date of the result. Positive results can occur both in acute as well as previous infections. However, if you had done a PCR nasal swab at the same time and that comes back negative, the SHN can be annulled.
How to make an appointment with Intemedical Kovan?
Appointment Portal: https://forms.gle/HyGy59i9mYx4sEi96
(most direct and fuss-free)
WhatsApp: 8879 9404
(available during clinic opening hours, 8am to 12am)
Mobile: 8879 9404
Landline: 6243 3036
(please be aware that the phone might be engaged due to high call volume)