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. The research body 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. The body also 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 perfom the test ?
Here is a ten step process to follow while you test yourself with CoviSelf
- Every test kit will carry all the elements required for carrying on the test. The kit will carry a pre-filled extraction tube, a sterile nasal swab, one test card, and a biohazard bag.
- The kit will have a sterile swab kit. The sterile swab kit must be inserted in both the nostrils 2 to 4 cm inside. This is done so that the comfort for performing test should be easy. Unlike the earlier tests which met the resistance deep in nasopharyngeal swap. After the swab is inserted it must meet resistance. The swab must be rolled 4 to 5 times so that the 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 performing the test must download the Mylab CoviSelf app from play store. On Android or from Apple Store for IPhone.
- The app is a comprehensive guide of the testing procedure and will provide a positive or negative test result to the patient.
- On the test card they have provided two sections one control section and other test section.
- If the bar shows up on the C section (control) then the test is negative
- If the bar ends up on both T and C section the test is positive.
- The test will take 15 minutes for a negative test. But it will show in 5-6 minutes in a positive test.
- The person should upload a picture of the test strip after completing the test. From the same mobile phone which was used during registration and download of app.
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.