100 vending machines to be set up for collection of COVID-19 self-test kits
Those who received a health risk warning or alert can collect the test kits across 56 locations islandwide.
SINGAPORE: People who received a COVID-19 health risk warning or health risk alert via SMS will be able to collect antigen rapid test (ART) kits at 100 vending machines across Singapore from Saturday (Sep 18).
The test kits will be available for collection round the clock at 56 locations at housing estates islandwide, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday.
A health risk warning is issued to people who were identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 case. They are required by law to get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at selected clinics and self isolate until they receive a negative result.
They must also swab themselves using the ART self-test kits on the third, fifth and seventh day from the date of last exposure to the COVID-19 case they were close contacts with. Another PCR test at a clinic is required on or after the eighth day.
If all these are complied with, their health risk warning period will end on the 10th day of exposure. The cost of all swab tests will be borne by the Government, said the Health Ministry.
A health risk alert, on the other hand, is issued to people whose SafeEntry records overlap with that of a COVID-19 case. Considered to be at lower risk compared to people issued with a health risk warning, they are required to conduct ART tests on the third and fifth day from the last date of exposure.
From Sep 18, individuals who received the SMS can scan their IDs to collect a pack of three ART self-test kits at a vending machine and use them for the required tests, said MOH.
The full list of collection points and the steps for collection of the ART self-test kits are available at gowhere.gov.sg/art.
People who have received health risk warnings have been “extremely cooperative”, with “well over” 90 per cent of them taking the necessary tests and isolating, which is “very encouraging”, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday.
“I think right now, nothing beats our own personal responsibility. I think we continue to count on that as we plan the curve and ride through this wave.”
Singapore's vaccination rate has prevented many cases of severe illness, said Mr Ong.
He stressed, however, that vaccination alone will not allow Singapore to live with COVID-19, noting other factors like treatment, mask-wearing and testing regimes.