Vivian Balakrishnan Demonstrates Rapid Covid-19 Test By Swabbing Himself On Facebook Video

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan Shows Speed & Convenience Of Covid-19 Rapid Test

In order to open up Singapore’s borders amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, rapid testing has been identified as a necessary measure.

In a bid to ‘demystify’ the process, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan took it upon himself to show Singaporeans how the test works in a Facebook video on Thursday (22 Oct).


The Minister – who’s a trained medical doctor – proved how quick, painless, and easy the test was by performing it on himself.

Vivian Balakrishnan demostrates Covid-19 test process

For those who have not taken the Covid-19 test, the process can seem daunting and even scary.

As the Government makes plans to include rapid testing at mass events, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan showed us just how convenient it is.


Only 3 things were needed for the testing process — a swab stick, cartridge, a timer

The first step is pretty obvious — insert the swab stick into the nose. However, it does not need to be inserted into a ‘deep’ portion of the nostril — at least 2.5cm into the nostril will do.

Vivian Balakrishnan Covid-19 testSource

Then, the swab stick is twirled 5 times to pick up mucus and cells before doing the same on the other nostril.

Dr Balakrishnan added that while the process is not “comfortable”, it is not painful.

Covid-19 test results are quick

Next, the swab stick was placed into the reagent container and swirled around for about 15 seconds.

Vivian Balakrishnan Covid-19 testSource

Then the reagent container was capped and shook.

Vivian Balakrishnan Covid-19 testSource

3 drops of the solution were then dripped into the receptacle pool before starting a timer.

Vivian Balakrishnan Covid-19 testSource

After a short while, the ink in the reader rose as the sample was measured against a control.

For the very last step, the reader was inserted into the cartridge machine and the result of the test was swiftly displayed on the screen.

Vivian Balakrishnan Covid-19 testSource

You can watch Minister Balakrishnan’s video in full here:

Dr Vivian, however, warned that the test should only be administered under “professional supervision”.

While it’s unclear if Dr Vivian himself did so under said supervision, he is a trained medical doctor, so chances are he knows what he’s doing.

Ho Ching thanks Dr Vivian for demonstration

Sharing the clip the next day, Mdm Ho Ching said that swabbing the mid-turbinates – located halfway up our nostrils, as shown by Dr Vivian – is more bearable as compared to swabbing the ‘deeper’ region of our nostrils.


This form of testing reportedly occurs 3-4cm into our nose, in contrast to 8-10cm for previous testing methods which required swabbing the back of our nose.

Rapid test crucial to resumption of activities

The Covid-19 rapid test will soon be a key component in the resumption of activities.

Vivian Balakrishnan Covid-19 testSource

As air travel gradually picks up and Singapore opens its borders once again, the test can be used on travellers, allowing the government to do away with Stay-Home Notices (SHN).

Beyond that, mass events can also be allowed to take place with everyone being tested before entering.

This, in turn, will allow more activities to resume, reported The Straits Times (ST).

Easing restrictions safely and efficiently

Easy, fast, and cheap, the Covid-19 rapid test will allow testing on a much larger scale to be conducted.

The rapid test kit will certainly be a game-changer in the way we screen visitors and within our own community.

Let’s hope that in time to come, this will mean the easing of more restrictions in a safe and efficient manner.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook.

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