You can now self-test COVID-19 at home; ICMR issues advisory
India's first test kit that allows you to test yourself for the coronavirus right at home has been approved. The kit, called the CoviSelf COVID-19 OTC Antigen LF device, has been manufactured by the Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions. The kit comes at a price of Rs. 250 and gives the result within 15 minutes. Here's all you need to know.
Who should use the home testing kit?
The ICMR on Wednesday said the kit, which uses the Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) method, should only be used by symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of those who tested positive in a laboratory test. "Indiscriminate testing is not advised," the Council said. It also advised all users to download the home testing mobile app to understand the testing procedure and also access their results.
RAT-negative symptomatic individuals to get tested through RT-PCR
According to the advisory, all symptomatic individuals who test negative in the test should get themselves immediately tested through the RT-PCR method. "RATs are likely to miss few positive cases presenting with a low viral load," ICMR said. Further, such individuals should be treated as suspect COVID-19 cases and are therefore advised to follow the home isolation protocol until they receive their RT-PCR report.
Those who test positive should be considered true positives
Meanwhile, all such individuals who test positive should be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is needed, the advisory stated. "All test positive individuals are advised to follow home isolation and care as per ICMR & Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) protocol." The disposal of test kit, swab, and other materials should be done as per the instructions by manufacturer.
You can read the advisory here
𝐈𝐂𝐌𝐑 𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞𝐝 𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗 𝐇𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐓𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐑𝐚𝐩𝐢𝐝 𝐀𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐠𝐞𝐧 𝐓𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐬 (𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐬). For more details visit https://t.co/dI1pqvXAsZ @PMOIndia #ICMRFIGHTSCOVID19 #IndiaFightsCOVID19 pic.twitter.com/membV3hPbX— ICMR (@ICMRDELHI) May 19, 2021
Kit will be out in the market in one week
The test kit will be out in the market in about one week, Hasmukh Rawal, the Managing Director at Mylab, said. "The kit has been designed in a way that it is extremely simple to use and it is not a biohazard. There is a disposal bag that comes along for safely disposing off the items after use," Rawal added.
How can you test yourself using this kit?
Firstly, insert the nasal swab inside both the nostrils up to 2-4 centimeters. Roll the swab five times. Dip the swab in the pre-filled tube. Swirl the nasal swab 10 times to ensure it is immersed well in the tube. Break the swab from the breakpoint. Close the cap of the tube and add two drops to the test kit by pressing the tube.