Getting tested for a virus that’s currently ravaging the planet is already tense as is. Having to wait for the result as hundreds of other people around the country do the same could be worse. But it doesn’t have to be.
As Malta continues its rigourous daily COVID-19 testing, the island has now already swabbed 26,764 of its people. For context, that’s over 5% of the whole population in under two months. But as more tests are carried out, the number of people who need to be contacted and followed up on their results inevitably increases.
The system has been getting more efficient as improvements and investments on both the technologies used and the human resources at the authorities’ disposition are announced.
Back in the beginning of April, for example, reports came in of certain people having to wait over a week and a half to get a reply back on their test. And while that would’ve more than likely meant their tests had come out negative, it’s still a long time to keep someone on hold. Now, most people are being promised a call within 36 hours.
But as a substantial part of the population anxiously waits by the phone to be told whether they’ve tested positive or negative, many are forgetting an even more efficient route: the internet.
An overlooked tool which is suddenly coming in very handy for a lot of people is myHealth, the Health Ministry’s national interactive website.
Given new life in 2017 through a revamped and improved version of the initial portal that launched back in 2012, myHealth is an online service that stores citizens’ medical records kept in Malta’s public healthcare system.
That means your myHealth account has a record of any blood test or X-Ray you might’ve ever needed… and, if you got swabbed for COVID-19, your test results, too.
The only thing you’ll need to access your myHealth profile is an e-ID Account… that is, an electronic ID account.
If you don’t currently have an e-ID account but you have an Identity Card, your best bet of applying straight from home is by either calling on 2590 4300 or by sending an email request on email@example.com.
You might need to send in a copy of your ID card, but a simple scan or good enough photo of both sides should do the trick. Then, there’s just the final step of verifying your email, choosing a personal password, and you’ve got yourself an e-ID account.
More information on acquiring an e-ID account can be found here and here. An even more simplified version aimed at people who have recently moved to Malta and registered as residents can be found here.
If you do have an e-ID account, your next step is logging in to myHealth with it.
Just input your ID Number and Password (and a verification code sent to you via email), and you’re in.
If this is your first time accessing the portal, you might be prompted to enter some details, such as info on a contact person and even your doctor’s name, should you wish to sync all the information at your disposal. If you just want to get your results ASAP, though, you can choose to skip most of these steps for now.
Once on the homepage, you will be met with a number of options, but the one you’re looking for is Laboratory Results.
Here, you’ll find a list of all the results and records that you’re listed on under Malta’s public healthcare system, and if you’ve been tested for COVID-19, your result will be here.
By clicking on the “+” sign next to “2019-nCov” (which will most probably be first on the list as the most recent result), you’ll be able to get more information… specifically whether you’re Positive or Negative.
The result will be listed as “Detected” (which is positive), or “Not Detected” (which is negative).
There’s even some extra advice and tips on what your result means, such as the fact that you’ll shortly be contacted by public health authorities if you tested positive, or that you must still stay at home for a further 24 hours after your symptoms subside.
While no official timeline has been given on when these results are put online, many people have reported to this newsroom that they’ve read their tests results here before they received a call.
“After developing a fever, a headache and drowsiness, I immediately went to get tested since I live with three other members of my family, one of whom is elderly,” one anonymous woman who got tested earlier this week told Lovin Malta.
“I had been anxiously waiting for two days to see whether I’m in the clear or not, trying as much as possible to distance myself from my family while still under the same roof and bracing for the worst as my symptoms persisted,” the woman continued. “When I randomly read a comment online saying my test could already be online, I quickly logged in to myHealth and found my negative result waiting for me!”
So if you’ve been waiting for your call and have a valid e-ID account, check your myHealth page; your result might already be there.