Singapore

Covid-19 saliva test kit developed in Singapore gets approval

Instead of nasal swabs, those who need to be tested for Covid-19 in Singapore now have the option of offering a saliva sample, following the development of a test kit here.

The Resolute 2.0 kit was developed by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Diagnostics Development (DxD) Hub and DSO National Laboratories in July.

While it allows for tests using nasal swabs, the kit also facilitates Covid-19 testing using saliva.

Patients have to draw saliva from deep within their throats, which they spit into a specimen bottle.

This type of saliva testing does not require assistance from swabbers or medical professionals, which protects them from being potentially exposed to the virus.

The Resolute 2.0 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kit can handle this non-invasive method of obtaining samples, compared with the more commonly used nasopharyngeal (back of the nose) or oropharyngeal (back of the throat) swabbing.

The PCR test has been described as the "gold standard" of Covid-19 detection during the pandemic.

The kit is licensed to be manufactured and distributed by medical device company Advanced MedTech Holdings. The company on Thursday announced that the Health Sciences Authority has given its approval for the first Covid-19 deep throat saliva test here.

Changi Airport's new Covid-19 testing lab - slated to open in the first quarter of next year - will use Resolute 2.0.

Advanced MedTech Holdings said clinical studies conducted on saliva samples could accurately identify all the known positive cases.

Its group chief executive Abel Ang said the Resolute 2.0 kit will be beneficial for the country as it steps up testing to reopen the economy, revive conventions and rebuild the air hub status of Changi Airport.

A saliva sample taken from deep within the throat is not the same as drool around the mouth, said DxD Hub vice-president Weng Ruifen.

The Resolute 2.0 kit can be completed in an hour, compared with a conventional PCR test, which takes 2.5 hours or longer.

The Resolute 2.0 kit is being used in places including ParkwayHealth Laboratory, Innovative Diagnostics labs and Raffles Medical Group.

coronavirus