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COVID-19 RNA PCR Swab £79.95
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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Buy a test for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Online Clinic offers two types of Coronavirus tests: the RNA PCR swab test that tells you if you currently have the virus, and the IgG/IgM antibody test that tells you if you have had SARS-CoV-2 and generated the antibodies. This page is for the RNA PCR swab. For the antibody test, please visit our Covid Antibody Test page.

The RNA PCR swab test is sometimes referred to as the antigen test (even although this is not technically correct). This is the test that is often required prior to entry to certain countries. We offer this test as a standalone test or as part of a Fit to Fly certificate. Please see below for further details.

Viral RNA by PCR

This test is a Viral RNA test to check if you currently have the virus. The test kit we send out involves you taking samples from your throat and nose and sending this back to our laboratory for analysis. The return envelope is the Royal Mail 24 tracked service, and this is included in the price. You will receive your results from a doctor online within around 24 hours of the sample arriving back at the laboratory.

The lab-based PCR test has a sensitivity of at least 98% and a specificity of 100%, with no cross-reactivity with other viruses. The optimum point for sample collection is days 1 - 5 following onset of symptoms, with day 3 preferred. After day 5, the virus is generally no longer present in the upper respiratory tract.

All positive results are reported to Public Health England each morning and are included in the country's total Coronavirus cases announced that day.

COVID-19 RNA PCR Swab £79.95

This test is now being required by some airlines and border security agencies for members of the travelling public. The lab report is provided to evidence "free from Covid-19". You can add on a Fit to Fly letter that is signed by a doctor. Certain destinations require this letter, so you should check before you travel.

Covid Fit to Fly Certificate £99.95

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a family of organisms that infect humans and animals. They are responsible for a range of infections including: the common cold; MERS; and SARS. Covid-19 is caused by a new coronavirus that was first identified in China in December 2019.

How do you catch Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is spread via respiratory droplets when someone sneezes or coughs. Droplets are emitted when a person exhales and the droplets land on surfaces around the person Another person will touch surface and transfer the virus by touching their eyes, nose or mouth. It is also possible to breath in respiratory droplets directly if you are close to another person when they cough or sneeze. It is for this reason that it is recommended that you remain 2 metres apart for other people who are not members of your household.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19

For most people the symptoms will be mild with a fever (elevated temperature), a continuous dry cough and fatigue. Some patients will experience aching limbs, sore throat and diarrhoea. Some infected people will have no symptoms or symptoms that are so mild that they are not noticeable.

What is the incubation period?

The period between the acquisition of this new coronavirus and the symptoms of COVID-19 appearing, ranges from 1 - 14 days. The average is 5 days.

Are there medicines to treat COVID-19?

There are no medicines that have been identified that definitely treat or prevent COVID-19. Some older medicines that are currently licensed for other purposes are in clinical trials to assess their effectiveness against COVID-19. It is not recommended that patients use any of these medications unless they have been prescribed for them by a doctor. At The Online Clinic, we do not recommend the use of any of the medications that have been highlighted in the press. They may be appropriate is a hospital setting, where the risk/benefit balance will be very different from patients self-administering at home.

Vaccines for COVID-19

There is no vaccine currently available, but some are in development. Vaccines can take 12 - 18 months to obtain a licence - even in urgent situations such as the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Protecting yourself from COVID-19

If you have any of these symptoms:

  • Fever (Temperature of 37.8 C or above)
  • Continuous dry cough
  • Loss of/change in smell or taste.

Then you must self-isolate for 7 days from the point you developed symptoms and your household must self-isolate for 14 days from the point that you develop symptoms. If a member of the household develops symptoms, their isolation ends after day 7 from the point they developed symptoms. Any person who still has a fever after 7 days must continue self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. You do not need to continue isolation if you have a cough after 7 days. The cough can persist for several weeks.

The person with symptoms should confine themselves to a well-ventilated room with a window that opens. Contact with other members of the household should be avoided.

Wash your hands frequently and every time you return from a trip outside.

Face masks are recommended in certain situations, and public health advice should be followed.

Testing other family members

Test kits need to be sent in the name of the patient being tested. You cannot request a test for someone else using your patient record. As The Online Clinic is licensed for 18 and over only, we cannot offer tests for children unfortunately.

Reviewed by: Dr Junaid Patel (GMC no. - 7049798)
Date: 04 May 2020
Next review: 03 May 2022
All UK registered doctors can have their registration checked on The Medical Register at the GMC website.

Coronavirus Test (COVID-19) Reviews By Our Patients

  • Overall Rating
    Based on 1 review
  • ★★★★★
    Very fast delivery. The return envelope was also a next day service. Received my kit on the Monday, took the sample and sent it back. Had my results on the Tuesday evening. Fortunately, I was negative. Also reassuring that the test is part of the Public Health England stats, so this gave me confidence.
    James T. - 21/04/20
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