New Covid-19 test kit takes just 3 hours to determine if person is infected

Swab samples will be sent to the HTX lab. The kit has an accuracy of more than 99 per cent.
PHOTO: The New Paper

The HTX Covid-19 test kit, newly developed by the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) and Veredus Laboratories, takes just three hours to determine if the person has the infection.

The new swab tests were introduced at checkpoints on Wednesday night.

Members of the media were shown how the screening worked at Singapore Cruise Centre yesterday.

Visitors had to go through a temperature screening area before clearing immigration.

If they were found to have a fever, they would be referred to the health screening station, where healthcare personnel would assess if they need to be tested. Those who have to be tested go through a nasal swab test, but are allowed to leave after being advised to minimise contact with others and to remain contactable until the results are confirmed.

They are then allowed back to the immigration queues to carry on with their journey.

Similar procedures are carried out at all air, sea and land checkpoints.

The swab samples are sent to the HTX lab at the Pasir Panjang Scanning Station.

In a release yesterday, HTX said the kit was compatible with existing systems in the lab, making it cost efficient.

The kit has an accuracy of more than 99 per cent.

Though the kit takes less time than those used in hospitals, which may take more than eight hours, the hospital tests are able to determine the severity of the Covid-19 infection in a person.

The test kits used at HTX are designed to test mainly just the presence of the virus.

If a sample tests positive, HTX will inform the Ministry of Health.


It is not known how much it costs to test a person for the virus here, but The New Paper understands that each chipset used by HTX, which can be used to test just one person, costs less than $200.

The HTX lab, which currently handles all swab test samples from the checkpoints, has a capacity to do up to 200 tests a day.

This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.

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