Throat swab samples to be collected for free NAT starting Tue

Throat swab samples will be collected for free nucleic acid tests (NAT) conducted at community testing centres and inbound testing stations at the airport starting this Tuesday, replacing the current practice of collecting nasal and throat swab samples.

"Switching to using throat swab to collect upper respiratory tract specimen for nucleic acid test can also achieve high sensitivity," the government announced yesterday.

The self-paid testing arrangement at community testing centres and stations will remain unchanged. Unless otherwise requested, "combined nasal and throat swabs" will continue to be used for self-paid testing services.

Members of the public may also opt for other specimen collection methods in the self-paid testing, including taking "nasal swabs", "nasopharyngeal swabs" or "throat swab" that suits their needs, such as meeting the entry requirement of their travel destinations, the government spokesman said.