There are two ways to test Covid-19: rapid antibody test and PCR swab test. I have tried both ways 😄 Rapid test is mandatory for domestic passengers travelling in Indonesia. On the other hand, a swab test is compulsory for international travellers who are serving SHN in Singapore.
If you are going to do a rapid test, the person will take your blood sample – it feels exactly the same as when you are immunized. They will test our blood with the provided virus antigen. If our body is infected, it will produce antibodies as an immune response. The antigen will react with the antibody produced by our body – thus yielding positive (reactive) result.
Swab test is a bit different. There are two kinds of swab tests: nasal (nasopharyngeal) swab and saliva swab. For the nasal swab, the person will insert a swab (about 6 inches long) to your nose. As for the saliva swab, they will insert a swab to your mouth. The test I did was the nasal swab.
I will share my swab test experience in detail here. At the time of writing, I am serving day 11 of my SHN. If you are going to serve SHN, you will be scheduled for your swab test on around day 10 or 11. I did my swab test on July 27th (day 10). They will inform the date and venue via email or SMS if you already have a local number. I received the detail of my appointment via email two days before the D-Day. I did the swab test at V Hotel’s carpark at level 3 at 10:45 am.
A person ringed my doorbell and asked for me to wait outside my room. I brought all of the required documents (IPA letter, approval letter, and passport) so I won’t need to return to my room later. Afterwards, he escorted me along with four of my neighbors to the lift. After arriving at the carpark, we queued to hand in our documents for data verification.
The person asked me to face up and lower down my mask. He inserted the swab into my nostril, twirled for five seconds, and hold it for another five seconds. He did exactly the same with my other nostril. I had to breathe with my mouth for that ten seconds and my eyes got watery. It was not that bad, though. It was not painful at all. Just a bit uncomfortable.
After doing the swab test, I was escorted back to my room. Around two days after that, I got the email that my swab test result is negative. I am very relieved as I had been in two risky flights. It was only by His Grace that I could arrive in Singapore and end my SHN safely.