Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the importance of reliable, accessible testing for detecting the disease has become increasingly apparent. Covid-19 tests can be divided into antigen or antibody tests, both types of tests using different types of samples to look for different characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

What Are the Types of Covid-19 Tests?

Polymerase Chain Reaction
(PCR) tests are sent to a laboratory to diagnose the disease.
antibody (or serology)
tests can’t diagnose active infection, but a person’s defense against Covid-19
It can help tell if you’re immune.


What is PCR Test?

PCR tests are used to directly screen for the presence of detectable viral RNA in the body before antibodies are formed or symptoms of the disease appear. This means that tests can tell if someone has the virus very early in their illness.


During the Covid-19 PCR test, a
known as reverse transcriptase or DNA polymerase to the nasopharyngeal sample items are added. These substances are used to remove any viral RNA that may be present.
works to make countless copies. These are specially designed primers and probes themselves to signal that a pathogen is present
to indicate a positive result, as it binds to sequences of the genetic code so that enough RNA copies are available.

Such Covid-19 tests need to be sent to a laboratory for analysis, but you must have these tests done at PCR centers accredited by the Ministry of Health. Medlife Medical Center is accredited by the Ministry of Health.

How is the PCR Test Done?

Also called molecular testing, this COVID-19
test, a laboratory technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
detects the genetic material of the virus using a long nostril
fluid from the back of your nose by inserting a nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) and
or a shorter nasal swab (middle turbinate) for sampling
A liquid sample is taken using a swab.

In some cases, a long swab on the back of your throat
(oropharyngeal swab) is placed or a swab to produce a saliva sample
You can spit into the tube. If the results are analyzed on the spot, within minutes or
within a few days or delay in test processing if sent to an outside lab
can be obtained over a longer period of time. a healthcare professional
PCR tests are very accurate when properly performed by

In Which Situations Is PCR Test Performed?

  • fever, cough, tiredness or
    if you have symptoms of COVID19 such as shortness of breath
  • You have no symptoms but COVID-19
    if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus or is suspected of having the virus. Close contact means you are within 2 meters of a person with COVID-19. However, if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three months, you do not need to be tested. If you have been fully vaccinated and have had close contact with someone with the COVID-19 virus, get tested 3 to 5 days after exposure.
  • You participated in activities that increased your risk of COVID-19 and did not stay at least 1 meter away from others, examples include travel, large gatherings or crowded indoor settings. If your doctor or other health professional or public health department recommends a test.

Some groups are high priority for diagnostic testing
It is considered. These include people with signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

  • in a healthcare facility or for the first
    persons working as responders.
  • long-term, such as nursing homes
    those who work in care facilities and those who have to live or work in other places where people live close together, such as prisons.
  • Persons cared for in a hospital.

Some people infected with the COVID-19 virus may be asymptomatic, meaning they do not have any signs or symptoms. But they can still transmit the virus to others. If people without symptoms test positive, they should follow self-isolation guidelines to help curb the spread of the virus.

Availability of the COVID-19 diagnostic test and where it will be tested should be done at PCR centers accredited by the Ministry of Health.

Be wary of COVID-19 tests performed in places where the Ministry of Health does not give accreditation. these often give false results.

How to Go for PCR Test?

Whether you have symptoms or not, don’t forget to wear a face mask on your way to your doctor’s office or testing center, and make sure everyone who comes with you wears a mask as well.

  • If you think you may have contracted COVID-19, call your doctor or local health center to review your symptoms and ask about testing before you go in so staff can prepare for your visit by wearing personal protective equipment.
  • If you don’t have any symptoms but are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, follow your doctor’s or medical center’s testing recommendations.

PCR Test Process

For a COVID-19 diagnostic test, a healthcare professional takes a mucus sample or a saliva sample from your nose or throat. The sample required for the diagnostic test can be taken at a healthcare facility.

  • Nasal or throat swab. A longer nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) is recommended, although a shorter nasal swab is acceptable. Your doctor or other healthcare professional inserts a thin, flexible swab with a cotton tip into your nose or brushes the swab against the back of your throat to collect a sample of mucus. This can be a little disturbing.
  • For nasal specimen, swab may be in both nostrils to collect enough mucus for testing. The sample stays in place for a short time before being rotated slightly as it is pulled out. The sample is sealed in a tube and sent for analysis.
  • Saliva sample. Some places offer saliva tests. While a saliva sample is slightly less sensitive than a mucus sample taken using a long nasal swab, a saliva test is easier to do and is generally less irritating. You spit into a tube several times to provide a sample of your saliva to test. The tube is retained before being sent for analysis

When is the PCR Test Result Available?

Rapid tests are available for COVID-19 diagnostic tests at some facilities. In this case, you can get your results in less than an hour or the day you take the test. Other facilities may have to send the test sample to an outside laboratory for analysis. If they need to send the sample, your results may not be available until a few days later.

The COVID-19 diagnostic test result can be positive or negative.

  • Positive Result. This means you currently have an active infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Take appropriate steps to take care of yourself and not infect others. You will need to self-quarantine until:
  • Your symptoms are improving and it has been 24 hours since your fever
  • It has been at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared.
  • If you have severe COVID-19 symptoms or a health condition that reduces your ability to fight off illness, your doctor may recommend a longer stay in quarantine. If you have a positive result but have developed no symptoms, isolate for 10 days after testing.
  • Negative result. This means that you are probably not infected with the COVID-19 virus. However, depending on the timing and quality of the test sample, a false negative test result may occur.
  • Even if you test negative, you could become infected in the future, so it’s important to follow guidelines on social distancing, face mask use, and hand washing to prevent potential spread. If your symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend repeating the test.