DIY test kits go on sale

Available now: A store assistant arranging the Covid-19 test kits at a pharmacy in Singapore. — Reuters

Sales of self-administered Covid-19 test kits has started at all major pharmacies here.

All 79 Guardian pharmacy stores islandwide have been stocked with two antigen rapid test (ART) kits: the Abbott PanBioTM Covid-19 Antigen Self-test and the QuickVue At-Home OTC Covid-19 Test.

A Guardian spokesman said: “Both brands are approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA). The instructions on how to use these two brands differ, hence customers are advised to follow the specific instruction leaflet carefully for the brand they purchase.”

The same two test kits are also available at Watsons Singapore and Unity stores.

Their retail prices range from S$10 to S$13 (RM30 to RM40) per test kit, as recommended by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Retiree J. Brown, 60, visited a Watsons pharmacy at Bukit Panjang Plaza yesterday to purchase Covid-19 test kits for her family as they are returning to Britain in September this year.

“Instead of going all the way (to the test centre), it’s easier and more convenient if you have the kits,” said Brown, whose husband works in the oil and gas industry and whose daughter works in a school.

“We can test ourselves one to two weeks before we leave so that we can avoid problems when we go to the airport. At least you know that you are 90% negative.”

Eric Lim, 33, who works as a kitchen staff at a Japanese restaurant, said he plans to buy three kits next month. He has planned a cruise trip to nowhere next month.

“I plan to use one kit to test myself before I go on my trip and the other two to occasionally check on myself as my grandparents live with me.

“I don’t want to risk spreading anything to them,” said Lim.

He said he will buy more kits if he is able to use them with ease.

Jordan Lim, 30, director of Red Ginger, said that he intends to purchase 150 sets of the test kits for his employees across his four eateries islandwide.

He said it gives them the convenience of administering the test once every two weeks without having to go to a test centre.

The self-administered testing kits are meant to make testing fast, easy and accessible as Singapore gradually resumes more activities. — The Straits Times/ANN

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