Health InformationHow To Use a COVID-19 Self Testing Kit

3 Feb 2022
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Limited PCR tests, how to use self-testing kits?


After February 3, 2022, when the Lunar New Year holiday ends, conditions will arise for the PCR test, which could be received unconditionally.


If you are not a high-risk group such as the elderly over the age of 60 and are not epidemiologically related, you must be tested with a self-testing/home test kit or a rapid antigen test to check for COVID-19 infection through PCR tests.


Rapid antigen testing is a test that can be received by medical staff by visiting the hospital in person. On the other hand, self-testing kits are tools that ordinary people can purchase at pharmacies and convenience stores, collect samples directly from their noses, and even check for infection. It has the advantage of being simpler than rapid antigen testing. This includes free distribution at selective clinics.


However, results from self-testing kits cannot replace the PCR test results. Just because your self-test came out negative may not necessarily be negative if you take a PCR test from a hospital or testing center. If you test positive through a kit, you must visit a selective clinic and undergo an official PCR test.


The picture below is the COVID-19 self-diagnosis kit of "Rapigen." It was purchased at a pharmacy for 9,000 won and can be used once.


Self-examination kit "Rapigen"


The method is different from PCR tests. You don't have to poke your nose directly. It is enough to sweep the inside of the nose with the enclosed cotton swab. 


Put cotton swabs in each nostril, sweep them, put cotton swabs in the sample extract tube, and stir them again.


After that, you can drop three drops of the sample extract into the tester and wait for the result to be determined. The result can be determined by looking at the 'line' that appears 30 minutes later. The manual states that the results after 30 minutes are not read. As shown in the picture, if a line appears only on line C, it is negative. If lines of C-line and T-line appear simultaneously, it means that there is a possibility of infection. It is necessary to visit a medical institution.


In addition, even if the test is negative if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have epidemiological associations, it is safe to visit a medical institution for PCR tests. If only the T-line is formed without the C-line appearing, or if the line is not formed in both lines, a re-examination is required. Re-examination should be performed using a new sample and kit.


The used self-diagnosis kit can be sealed in the enclosed envelope and discharged as household waste. However, if you have tested positive, you should bring it to the selective clinic and request disposal.


Source: The Korea Health News

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