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.