COVID-19 Tests

What are COVID-19 tests?

There are 2 types of tests you can take for COVID-19: a diagnostic test or an antibody test.

Types of COVID-19 tests

Diagnostic test (swab test)

A diagnostic test reveals if you have an active coronavirus infection. 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.

There are 2 types of diagnostic tests:

  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is currently used for pre-departure testing in Singapore
  • Antigen rapid test (ART), which detects specific proteins on the surface of the virus

Antibody test

Also known as a serology test, an antibody test reveals if your body has had an immune response to the virus after an infection.

A blood sample is used for the test.

Antibody tests only discover evidence of a previous infection and are therefore not used to diagnose COVID-19.

It is not clear if the presence of antibodies translates to immunity to COVID-19.

Why do you need a COVID-19 test?

It is necessary to go for a COVID-19 test when you:

  • Have had recent contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
  • Develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing or loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Are travelling to another country that requires a pre-departure PCR test before entry

Why choose Mount Elizabeth Hospitals?

Established for more than 40 years in Singapore, Mount Elizabeth Hospitals have earned the trust of patients from the region. Staffed by a large team of dedicated professionals and a diverse mix of skilled specialists, we are here to help you achieve the best possible healthcare outcome.

Our infectious disease specialists and respiratory specialists

At Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, our infectious disease specialists and lung doctors are experienced in detecting and treating underlying causes of infections for patients in Singapore and the region.

Speak to our specialists for diagnosis and timely treatment.

Please check with your insurance provider for more information, and for their most up-to-date list of panel doctors.

^Specialists may qualify to be on the Extended Panel (EP). You may enjoy selected panel benefits depending on your policy and riders.
This page has been reviewed by our medical content reviewers.

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