Background & Objective A simple approach to prevent close contact in healthcare settings during the COVID-19 outbreak is to train patients to collect their own nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs and deliver them to medical laboratories to have them processed . The aim of our study was to compare lab technician- with patient- collected oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal samples for detection of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) using rapid real-time polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). Methods Fifty adult patients with flu-like symptoms and radiologic findings compatible with atypical pneumonia who were admitted to the infectious diseases ward of Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, Tehran, Iran, with a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 from February 28 to April 27 of 2020 were randomly selected and entered in our study . Two sets of naso- and oropharyngeal swabs were collected, one set by a lab technician and the other by the patients, and the COVID-19 rRT-PCR test was performed . Results Of 50 selected cases, in seven patients all collected naso- and oropharyngeal swabs tested positive, and in 22 patients all samples tested negative for COVID-19 in rRT-PCR . Discrepancies between rRT-PCR results of lab technician- and patient-collected swabs were observed in 12 nasopharyngeal and 13 oropharyngeal specimens . Positive lab technician-collected and negative patient-collected samples were observed in 10 and 5 nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens, respectively . Negative lab technician-collected and positive patient-collected samples were observed in two and seven nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens, respectively . The overall percentage of agreement among both nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs taken by a lab technician and patients was 76% with a kappa value of 0.49 (=0.001). Conclusion Based on our findings, lab technician-collected naso- and oropharyngeal swabs cannot be replaced by patient-collected ones with regard to COVID-19 rRT-PCR.