- Two types of coronavirus tests are done in Hong Kong – an antigen test and an antibody test
- A PCR antigen test detects the sequence of the virus RNA and is highly accurate
The coronavirus testing process depends on the instructions of the health authorities of the place where you live.
In Hong Kong, it is recommended people call their doctors and get tested if they have symptoms of infection, they have travelled to regions with high infection rates, or they have had close contacts with someone infected.
The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, tiredness, and a dry cough. Some people may also develop other symptoms such as shortness of breath, aches, sore throat, diarrhoea, nausea, or a runny nose, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Two types of tests are done in Hong Kong " an antigen test and an antibody test. While the antigen test detects the presence of the Sars-Cov-2 in your body, the antibody test detects your immunity response to the virus " if you were infected earlier, you would have developed antibodies to it.
The antigen test, also known as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, detects the sequence of the virus RNA and is highly accurate.
Since Chinese scientists shared the genetic information about the virus globally in January, labs around the world can now identify the genes of the virus in patients' samples.
In Hong Kong, tests are available at government general outpatient clinics and some private clinics. Hong Kong doctors normally recommend a PCR test to get more accurate results, although it takes more time " a few hours " than a blood test, which only takes a few minutes.
To get a PCR test, you need to provide your respiratory samples. Doctors may take your nasal swab at a clinic or you can collect your deep throat saliva sample at home and bring it to a clinic. All the samples need to be sent to a centralised lab in a public hospital in Hong Kong for analysis.
The test costs HK$50. Getting your results takes 2-3 days. You will receive a message about your results from the Hong Kong Health Authority.
Hong Kong can conduct at least 2,000 deep throat saliva samples every day.
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