As part of our nation’s measures against the covid-19 virus, we may have the need to do an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) on our own to check if we have been infected with the covid-19 virus. But it may not be easy for a visually impaired person to find suitably accessible material to help them learn how to do an ART self-test. Here is a special demo, brought to you by your national social service agency (SSA), the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH), starring our very own visually impaired Board member, Ms Cassandra Chiu!  Hope our visually impaired viewers will find this helpful!

For those who may find this helpful, here is a transcript of the video:

Transcript for ART Demo Video

ART Test Kit Demonstration

Hello! I am Cassandra from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped and today we will be doing a video on the Antigen Rapid Test for people with vision impairment to use.

Antigen Rapid Test, or ART in short, is a very quick and easy to use test where individuals are able to test on their own at home to see if they are infected with the COVID-19 virus

When Not To Do The Test

Do note that you should not perform the A.R.T on your own if you have the following symptoms: flu, runny nose, cough or fever; had a nose bleed in the last 24 hours; had nasal surgery in the last four weeks or any facial surgery in the last eight weeks.

And should you exhibit any symptoms of cough, runny nose or any other respiratory illness, you should seek the advice of your doctor. 

You should also note that there are many different ART test kits, and each of them have slightly different instructions.

So before doing the self-test on your own, you should run through the instructions with some sighted assistance or OCR help with your phone or some other means of scanning the instructions.

For today’s video, I’m going to be using the SD Biosensor test kit.

Make sure that you are in a well-ventilated room away from others and you have a clean, dry surface to work with.

Then perhaps wash or sanitise your hands first. I’m just going to sanitise my hands and make sure that I have a nice, clean surface.  I’m going to use some wipes and make things a little easier.

I’ve also brought a tray so that I can do all the test stuff on the tray.

I’ve also brought a spare empty ziplog bag later to throw all the rubbish away so I can seal it.

What You Will Find Inside the ART Kit

We’ve got three of each, so first is the test kit itself and it comes in a little sealed bag, and when you shake it, you can hear the little….Silicon gel, that shakey sound. It’s just to keep it dry.

And then we also have a much longer thing, which is the nose swab and it’s about as long as my palm and fingers put together and skinny about the width of two fingers

Then we’ve got another tiny little Ziploc here which is what we really need.

We’re going to take out the sealed extraction tube. It’s a little thing about… squishy, about the width of your finger and kind of like shaped like a little cone shaped funnel, and it has got a little sealed top with a tab on top that you can pull off later and you need a cap for that too.

Ok, the cap is like a cap for that extraction tube and it’s got a little funnel on top.

So again, we need to make sure that…..let me put this other stuff away that we don’t need.  We need to make sure that we’ve got the stuff and it is opened.

There is a little tear line on the test kit. So I just tore it open and the test kit, one side is a rectangular flat thing about three inches by one inch and the bottom side is flat.

The top side we should be facing up is also kind of flat, but it has one circular hole which feels that you can stick a pencil in there. That’s where the nozzle later on, will go in there and the solution to be dropped in. 

And then that’s in the middle of the test kit, there’s a small, rectangular window, and that’s where you see your results or take a photo to send to some people to help.

And of course, let’s slightly open the swab stick a little bit, so it’s easier.  On one end of it, you can peel it open from left to right. You would likely feel a smooth plastic surface that is the handle. And inside the bag, you can probably feel the other end. It’s a little bit squishy like a cotton bud.  That’s the end, the squishy cotton bud is the end that goes inside your nostril.  And on the stick itself, there’s also a little groove around the middle. That’s a good place to hold the stick, so it doesn’t go too deep.

So what needs to happen is you need to stick the soft cotton bud inside your nostril and scrape it along the wall of your nostril, going round and round so you’re able to collect the specimen that is inside your nostril. 

And according to the instructions for this test kit, we are supposed to do five rounds in each nostril.

Let’s Do the Antigen Rapid Test Now

Stick the bud into my (your) nose about two or three cm in. Twirl it and drag it along the circumference of my (your) nostrils. That is two rounds, three, four, five…and then to go into the other nostril… one, two, three, four… five

Ok, now the trick is not to put the stick down but somehow hold it in your hand and pick up the extraction tube. for this one that we’re using, there is a little foil that you need to peel off. Some of them have a cap that you need to pull off so let me just peel the foil off. and be careful and line up this swab, the part that went into my nostril just now to go inside this tube.

This tube has solution basically to do the test and you’re supposed to stir it or kind of like go up and down inside the tube ten times…two… three, four… so I’m just rubbing it against the wall, five, six, seven, …ten.

And according to the instructions for this right, I’m supposed to squeeze the tube a little bit so that the swab as it is coming out when I remove it, rubs against the wall and I guess leaves all the specimen inside the liquid.  So I’m again going to hold the swab stick without me leaving on the table and dirtying it.   With the other hand, get the cap to press into this test tube thingy and make sure it’s tight.

Now that is tight, and not going to leak out, I’m going to stick the dirty swab back inside the wrapper that it came in. 

I’m going to just tap the extraction tube a little bit to make sure the solution is mixed and then go back to the test kit

Remember the circular thing, the well that looks like a pencil holder? You’re going to place the tip of the tube inside the well. You can feel the circle. Make sure it’s in the well and not in the rectangular window.  The rectangular window is for sighted people to read the results.

The well is where the solution should go and you need three to five drops. A blind person  is not going to be able to tell how many so my trick is to just gently squeeze once, twice, three times, just very gently, and that should be enough.

Then we set the timer. Hey, Google set a timer for 15 minutes.

The 15 minutes is up and I’m going to get some sighted assistance to help read what the results of the ART test is.

Interpreting the Result

  • Negative result: A coloured band will appear only at the Control line (C) of the result window.
  • Positive result: Two coloured bands will appear at both the Control line, C and Test line, T of the result window.
  • Invalid: If the control line C does not appear at all in the result window, it is an invalid test.  Please test again using a new test kit.

If you are still unsure of what to do after you have your result, please contact your nearest doctor for help. Put all parts of the used test kit into a bag and seal it tightly before throwing it away.

I hope that the little demonstration motivate you as a visually handicapped or blind person to do the ART test on your own regularly

if you run out of the test kits that came in your mailbox, you can easily get them from retail pharmacies, supermarkets, e-commerce platforms and alike.

If you do have difficulty performing the ART tests on your own or reading the results, you could reach out to us at SAVH or your social worker who would put you in touch with our partner organization that can help you with the test.

Thank you for watching our ART test demonstration for the visually impaired. Take care and stay safe!