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Novel Coronavirus update

COVID-19 tests     

There are 2 types of tests for COVID-19: diagnostic tests and antibody tests.

In a diagnostic test, samples of cells and fluids from the nose or throat are collected via a swab, then processed by a machine that detects the virus’s genetic material. The results will reveal if you have an active coronavirus infection, and if so, requires immediate medical attention and the need to quarantine or isolate yourself from others.

There are 2 types of diagnostic tests:

  • Molecular tests, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which is currently used in pre-departure testing in Singapore.
  • As of 1 December 2020, COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab testing is available to all individuals, including non-travellers, without the need for approval from the Ministry of Health. Individuals who require the pre-departure tests can make an appointment at selected clinics at Parkway Shenton.
  • Antigen rapid tests (ART) that detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus

In an antibody test, also known as a serology test, a blood sample is used to discover evidence of the body’s immune response to the virus after an infection. Antibodies can help fight infections, can take several days or weeks to develop after the infection, and may stay in the blood for several weeks or more after recovery. Due to this, antibody tests are not used to diagnose COVID-19. According to researchers, it is not clear at this time if the presence of antibodies translates to immunity to the coronavirus.

Learn more about how COVID-testing is done.

 

ParkwayHealth Laboratory


ParkwayHealth Laboratory was approved by the Ministry of Health to conduct COVID-19 testing since March 2020. It is the largest private laboratory to conduct COVID-19 tests in Singapore.

The team conducts COVID-19 tests including PCR tests, using the cobas® 6800 System (a molecular test system developed by Roche). Each day, up to 5,000 of these tests, known technically as COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests, are carried out at the ParkwayHealth Laboratory facilities. To date, more than 334,000 PCR and 8,000 serology tests have been processed. In a Channel NewsAsia feature, ParkwayHealth Laboratory shares what happens behind the scenes from sample collection to laboratory testing.