Free Covid-19 tests begin for all Hall residents

  • As of Jan 4, over 965 students signed up for the programme — roughly 10 per cent of the total number of vacancies available to Hall residents 
  • Participants said they signed up for the tests as a precaution to ensure the community was safe from the virus 
  • The university encouraged all Hall residents to register for the swab test and extended the registration window till Jan 13 

By Chong Xin Wei
Photos by Yong Hui Ting

Updated 16:00 PM, Jan 5

Hall residents formed a steady queue for NTU’s free Covid-19 swab test programme, which kicked off this morning (Jan 4) at Hall of Residence 2. 

More than 965 students signed up for the programme out of a total of 8640 vacancies, according to the programme’s registration portal, as of Jan 4. 

All new and returning Hall residents can apply for the free swab test, which is available during weekdays on Jan 4 to Jan 15 and takes around 10 minutes. The tests are conducted at Hall 2 till Jan 8 and will move to the Nanyang Auditorium from Jan 11 onwards. 

Many students told Soapbox they signed up for the test as a precaution to protect the community from the virus. 

Rooms in Hall 2 were cordoned off to conduct Covid-19 swab tests, available to all Hall residents in NTU.

Graduate Hall 2 resident Shanmuga Elisetty, 24, who received his swab test this morning, said: “I think it is important to get checked because we are carrying on with our regular life, travelling and commuting on public transport now. 

“It is better to get checked to see if there is anybody who might be positive in our community before coming back to school,” the second-year Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering graduate student added. 

Another participant from Hall 15, third-year Materials Science and Engineering student Ng Ee Theng, 22, said: “I think it is always good to make sure that you are actually safe to protect yourself, your friends and your family members around you.”

Students who spoke to Soapbox all said they received negative swab test results by the afternoon, with some results announced as soon as two hours after being tested via Antigen Rapid Testing. 

If a student’s test results are positive, they will be issued with a leave of absence by the school before undergoing a second confirmatory swab if they are tested positive, the school said in a consent form for participants. 

Roughly 270 students applied for the first day of swab tests, according to the application website. Electrical and Electronic Engineering student Pan Yong Qi (left), who was swabbed on Monday, said: “I think coming for the swab test will ensure the safety of the students and our community.” 

The school announced in an email to students on Dec 28 that the booking period of the Covid-19 swab test was extended to Jan 13, to allow more students to book tests. 

An NTU spokesperson told Soapbox Hall residents were strongly encouraged to go for the one-time free Covid-19 test.

“This will enable the University to better monitor the prevalence of Covid-19 and limit the risk of community transmission.”

“As this is a voluntary exercise, no target figure has been set. There are no plans to extend testing to all students or employees at the time,” the spokesperson added.

The tests will be conducted on campus on weekdays from Jan 4 to 15, from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm. To book a swab test, click here.

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Xinwei Chong

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Xinwei Chong

WRITER, SOCIAL MEDIA | Spends way too much time binge watching historical dramas and shedding tears over fictional characters. Loves history and travelling.
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