E-commerce platforms in S'pore begin sale of DIY Covid-19 test kits

Lazada offers the Abbott Panbio Covid-19 antigen self-test kit and Quidel (QuickVue) kit on its platform.
Lazada offers the Abbott Panbio Covid-19 antigen self-test kit and Quidel (QuickVue) kit on its platform.PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI, LAZADA.SG

SINGAPORE - Consumers have been snapping up self-administered Covid-19 test kits on e-commerce platforms here since sales started on Friday (July 16).

Two e-commerce platforms said they were preparing to order more supplies, depending on the demand for the test kits in the coming days. The kits are priced from $10 to $13 online.

Qoo10 is offering consumers two of the five test kits approved for use here by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) - the Quidel (QuickVue) Covid-19 antigen at-home test kit and the SD Biosensor Standard Q Covid-19 antigen home test kit.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, a spokesman for Qoo10 said the listings for the antigen rapid test kits began on the platform on Friday morning.

"We are expecting more approved brands to join us soon. We are looking to provide consumers with alternative sales channels to buy their antigen rapid test kits, and we hope that prices are competitive," he said.

"Buying on Qoo10 also provides consumers more privacy, with delivery to their address. As the listings have just gone up today, we are looking at encouraging sales results, and sellers will be ramping up for more stocks as we speak."

Lazada offers the Abbott Panbio Covid-19 antigen self-test kit as well as the Quidel (QuickVue) kit on its platform. The Lazada website showed that more than 130 units of the Abbott Panbio test kit were sold on one listing as at 5.40pm on Friday.

A spokesman for Lazada said: "Both... test kits were made available on Lazada today, on Abbott's LazMall store and Watson's LazMall store.

"We expect sales to pick up as more consumers become aware of the availability on the platform. We will monitor the demand and work with authorised partners to ensure there is adequate stock so that anyone who wishes to purchase a self-test kit can do so."

Both platforms offer customers single test kits and bulk purchases, with standard delivery taking three to seven days.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) updated its website information on antigen rapid test self-test kits on Friday and said the test kits "can be purchased from various community retail pharmacies, general retail shops as well as e-commerce platforms".

"Antigen rapid test is conducted by inserting a swab stick approximately 2cm into the nostril. These swabs are shallower and less intrusive than the nasopharyngeal swabs taken for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests. Users may experience some discomfort, but the swabs should not be painful," MOH said.

MOH said instructions and requirements will vary with the brand of the kits and advised the public to read and follow these carefully to administer the test correctly.

HSA has directed retailers to continue monitoring and removing all Covid-19 test kit listings that are not for the five authorised ones.

More information on the five test kits approved by HSA can be found at this link.