101 Guide to COVID-19 Testing

PCR Testing

As Hong Kong experiences its largest wave of COVID-19 cases, many people in Hong Kong are looking to learn more about testing options. Whether you’re interested because you are planning to travel, have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, or simply would like some peace of mind, here is all you need to know about testing.

Why Test?

With any contagious disease, especially COVID-19, testing is key. It allows for early detection, meaning better outcomes for the individual, and a more contained spread in the community. Countries with better testing have better control of the virus.

When to test?

If in doubt, it is always a good idea to contact a healthcare professional to see if you should be tested. You may simply wish to test yourself or your family for peace of mind, but in general, it is recommended to get tested under the following conditions:

  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, diarrhea or nausea
  • If you have been in close contact with anyone who has developed COVID-19
  • If you require certification for travel
  • If you have travelled or been to a high-risk area in the past 14 days

Different Testing Methods

Direct PCR Testing

Direct tests identify the presence of the COVID-19 virus using PCR technology. The test will analyze your sample, growing it in a lab before testing for the DNA of the virus.

The gold-standard for COVID-19 testing is a PCR test that takes samples from deep in the nose (nasopharyngeal) and also the back of the throat. This test is highly accurate (~99%) and is required for medical certification, for example to travel. Results are processed by a certified-lab and take approximately 2 days.

Indirect Testing / Finger Prick Rapid Test

Indirect tests measure our body’s response to the virus, such as the finger prick test. This test is a simple blood prick test, with results available in under 15-minutes. It tests for the presence of antibodies created in response to the virus. However, antibodies take around 1 week to be produced after exposure to the virus so it is less effective for early detection.  Indirect tests are also less accurate (~80%).

Where can I get tested?

In Hong Kong, you can visit a government hospital for testing but only if you already exhibit symptoms. Alternatively, many private clinics also offer testing regardless of your current health status.

At LifeHub we offer the following testing options

  • PCR Test with Medical Certificate (results are available within 2 working days*) $1580
  • PCR Test (results are available within 2 working days*) $880
  • Finger Prick Rapid Test (results are available within 15 mins) $280

Contact us here to know more about COVID-19 testing in Hong Kong.

*Providing you provide specimen before midday on the G/F of LifeHub, 33 Wellington Street 

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