Which COVID-19 test do you need? Find out the difference before you order.

Rocket Health
3 min readJun 5, 2021


The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is here and the cases have rapidly increased by 81% between April and May. This clearly implies that there is a need for reliable and accessible testing services.

When faced with the need to get a COVID-19 test, it is important to note that the choice depends on why you’re getting it and how soon you need the results. The three types of COVID-19 tests are;

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test

The PCR test is the yardstick for diagnosing COVID-19. This test is able to detect a COVID-19 infection within days of infection even those who have no symptoms. On average it takes about 5 to 6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show.

The PCR test is highly recommended for those who intend to travel. We use a swab to take a sample from the back of your nose and once the sample is collected by the Rocket Health lab technician, it takes up to 24 hours for you to receive your results.

Antibody Test

This is a blood test that looks for antibodies in your blood to determine if you had a previous infection with the virus or are successfully recovering from the disease. When one gets infected, the body makes antibodies that help one fight the infection.

The antibody test is recommended if you have come into contact with a person who has been confirmed to have COVID-19 — mainly to determine whether you have been exposed as well. It takes up to 5 hours for one to receive test results.

Rapid Test (Antigen)

The antigen tests are considered most accurate in a patient who is having symptoms of COVID-19. Some of the COVID-19 symptoms include fever, a running nose, general weakness, a sore throat, chest pain among others. If you happen to be experiencing any of these symptoms and need to confirm your status, consider the rapid Antigen Test. Your results will be delivered between 4–5 hours.

We have partnered with a number of accredited COVID-19 testing laboratories to enable you to get screening services in the image below from the comfort of your home or office.

COVID-19 testing services in Uganda

How to access a COVID-19 test

You can dial *280# to request a COVID-19 test from the Rocket Health laboratory or order online.

Click here to order

How can I help to stop the spread of COVID-19?

  • Wear a face mask when in public places (cover your nose and mouth).
  • Social distance — maintain at least a metre.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 70% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home or isolate yourself when you are unwell.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like doors, tables and devices.



Rocket Health

Consult with the Doctor anytime without leaving your home or office. We are a licensed and registered clinic, laboratory and pharmacy.