Q1: Which organisation is responsible for running the COVID-19 PCR (Home Testing) Programme?
The test will be performed by CareLink’s labs, but CareLink has been issued with an ISO 15190:2012 third-party laboratory certificate by the Hong Kong Accreditation Service under the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (HOKLAS), and is regularly evaluated and approved by the Centre for Health Protection’s SARS-CoV-2 Quality Assurance Programme.
Q2: How do the tests differ from the COVID-19 tests offered by public hospitals, private hospitals and clinics?
The COVID-19 tests in this programme are a type of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test that is able to detect the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and is the global gold standard. This test is the same as the RT-PCR tests referred to in Hong Kong’s COVID-19 guidelines and those provided by private medical institutions (such as Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital (HKSH) and Hong Kong Adventist Hospital).
Q3: What information does this test provide? What kind of samples do I need to provide?
The COVID-19 test is a type of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) lab test that is intended to ascertain whether the unique genetic markers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are present in the body. Inaccordance with Hong Kong’s COVID-19 sample collection guidelines, test subjects must collect a sample of deep throat saliva in the morning, when the viral load would be its highest.
Q4: Is this test approved by government bodies such as China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the EU’s In-Vitro Diagnostic Medical Device Compliance (CE-IVD) standards organisation?
Of course. The test kit has already been approved by China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA, formerly the CFDA), the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the EU’s In-Vitro Diagnostic Medical Device Compliance (CE-IVD) standards organisation.
Q5: Is our test accurate?
Verified studies have shown that this test has a level of sensitivity and specificity to the COVID-19 virus of 99.9%.
Q6: Public hospitals provide COVID-19 testing services, so why should I choose this test programme?
Our goal is to provide you with safe, convenient and accurate tests that enable you to be tested for the virus in the safety of your own home, thereby reducing community transmission of the virus and relieving pressure on the public health system. However, if you have severe symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.
Q7: Do I meet the test eligibility criteria?
According to Hong Kong’s COVID-19 guidelines, this test is not suitable for anyone with the following severe symptoms: severe and continuous chest pain or tightness of the chest, severe cough, severe shortness of breath, severe breathing difficulties, continuous feeling of dizziness, severe loss of sense of direction or loss of reaction, and/or high fever (>38°C).
If you have any of the severe symptoms listed above, please seek immediate medical attention.
Q8: Is the test suitable for under-18s?
Absolutely! People aged under 18 can use the testing service with the permission of a parent or guardian.