SINGAPORE – Do-it-yourself Covid-19 test kits will soon be available at pharmacies here as Singapore ramps up testing to detect the disease more quickly, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

These DIY test kits will be simple to use and not so uncomfortable, said Mr Lee on Monday (May 31) during a live address.

The kits will be the latest in Singapore’s variety of coronavirus testing options, which include swab tests like the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and the antigen rapid tests (ART).

He said: “These alternatives to PCR tests help us detect and isolate persons quickly when they are most infectious. This will be a big help in slowing down the spread of Covid-19.”

PCR tests are the most accurate, but usually take a day or two for the results to be known. The less accurate ART returns results in about 30 minutes and is used heavily for pre-event testing.

Mr Lee said that people will be able to purchase these test kits over the counter, if they are worried that they may have Covid-19 and want to put their mind at ease.

Frontline workers can also administer these tests on their own, if they wish to test themselves frequently or even daily, he added.

Mr Lee added that the Covid-19 breathalyser tests, which can process results within a minute, are already being used at the Causeway and at Changi airport.

He noted that many different types of Covid-19 tests have become available, including saliva tests and wastewater surveillance tests. Sniffer dogs are also an option.

“We have been using some of these, and evaluating others, for some time. Each of these new tests is suited to different use cases,” he said.

Text: Hariz Baharudin/ The Straits Times