NEW DELHI: To strengthen the ongoing fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given a green signal to a home-based rapid antigen testing (RAT) kit for COVID-19.
The new ICMR-approved self-testing kit is called CoviSelf. CoviSelfTM(PathoCatch) COVID-19 OTC Antigen LF device has been manufactured by Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd, Pune (Maharashtra), India. It has been validated and approved by the ICMR.
What are the ICMR guidelines?
The ICMR has made it clear that only symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of people who tested positive in the laboratory should use the home test kit. "Home testing by RAT is advised only in symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases. Indiscriminate testing is not advised," the ICMR said.
"All symptomatic individuals who test negative by RAT should get themselves immediately tested by RT-PCR. This is especially important as the RATs are likely to miss few positive cases presenting with a low viral load,’’ the ICMR advisory said.
"All RAT negative symptomatic individuals may be treated as suspect COVID-19 cases and are advised to follow the ICMR/Ministry of Health home isolation protocol while awaiting the RT-PCR test result," the advisory stated.
— ICMR (@ICMRDELHI) May 19, 2021
Where to find this home testing mobile app?
The ICMR said the home testing mobile app is available in Google play store and Apple store and must be downloaded by all users, adding that the mobile app is a comprehensive guide of the testing procedure and will provide a positive or negative test result to the patient.
How to use this home testing kit
All users are advised 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 user registration.
"Data in the app of your mobile phone will be centrally captured in a secure server which is connected with the ICMR COVID-19 testing portal, where all data will be eventually stored. Patient confidentiality will be fully maintained," the advisory underlined.
Key things to know about the home testing rapid antigen testing kit
-Only a nasal swab will be required for this rapid antigen testing.
-The kit comes with a pre-filled extraction tube, a sterile nasal swab, one test card, and a biohazard bag.
-The person undertaking the test will have to download the Mylab coviself app on their mobile phone.
-The mobile 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—the control section and the test section.
-If the bar shows up only at the control section ‘C’, the result is negative, and 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, and a negative result will take 15 minutes max
(Based on ICMR guidelines)