The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country's apex health research body, has approved a home-based rapid antigen testing (RAT) kit -- CoviSelf, for Covid-19. It said that the kit should be used only on symptomatic individuals and on immediate contacts of laboratory confirmed positive cases. It will provide results in 15 minutes.
It said that the kit manufactured by Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd has been validated and approved. It added that only nasal swab will be required for this rapid antigen testing, adding the process should be conducted as per the procedure described by the manufacturer in the user manual.
The test kit will be available in the market in about a week’s time. It will be priced at Rs 250 per kit.
How to use CoviSelf at home:
- Each kit will be provided with all testing materials. The kit will carry a pre-filled extraction tube, a sterile nasal swab, one test card, and a biohazard bag.
- The test is designed to be done using nasal swab (not the deep nasopharyngeal swab) to reduce the discomfort. The sterile swab kit should be inserted into both nostrils (2-4 cms until resistance is met) and rolled about five times to make sure that adequate sample is collected.
- The swab is then dipped into the pre-filled extraction tube, and two full drops of the mixture should be added to the sample well of the test device.
- The person undertaking the test will have to download the Mylab coviself app on their smartphone. The app is available in Google Play Store and Apple Store.
- The app is a comprehensive guide of the testing procedure and will provide a positive or negative test result to the patient.
- There will be two sections on the test card --- control section and test section.
- If the bar shows up only at the control section ‘C’, the result is negative.
- If the bar appears on both the control section and test (T) section, the test is positive.
- A positive test will take about 5 to 7 minutes. A negative result will take 15 minutes max.
- Persons taking the rest will have to click a picture of the test strip after completing the test procedure with the same mobile phone which has been used for downloading the mobile app and registration.
The ICMR said that individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required. However, all RAT negative symptomatic individuals will be treated as suspect Covid-19 cases and are advised to follow the home isolation protocol while awaiting the RTPCR test result. The body has also warned against indiscriminate testing.