India on Wednesday gave approval to the first kit for home testing of Covid-19, thereby permitting the masses of the country to purchase the kit at Rs 250., which will give the results within a short span of 15 minutes.
Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd. has developed the home testing kit, which is Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT), and needs to be only used for testing by the people having Covid-19 symptoms or came in contact with a Covid-19 positive person, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The ICMR statement read, “Indiscriminate testing is not advised. All individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required. All test positive individuals are advised to follow home isolation and care as per the ICMR and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare protocol.”
Rapid Antigen Testing comes forth as less sensitive when compared to the laboratory based RT-PCR tests, which implies for the probability of some false negatives, however, experts are of the opinion that the accuracy enhances with the high viral load.
ICMR director, Dr Balram Bhargava had declared in of the recent press meetings about the council exploring the potential of home-based Covid-19 testing kits and solutions.
Hasmukh Rawal, Managing Director, Mylab Discovery Solutions stated, “Indiscriminate testing is not advised. All individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required. All test positive individuals are advised to follow home isolation and care as per the ICMR and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare protocol.”
Rawal further added, “A positive test will take about 5 to 7 minutes, and a negative result will take 15 minutes max,.”
The testing kit consists of a priorly filled extraction tube, a sterile nasal swab, one test-card along with a biohazard bag. The person using the kit should have already downloaded the Mylab Coviself app.
The user manual instructs, “Insert the nasal swab in both the nostrils up to 2 to 4 cm or until resistance is met. Roll the swab five times inside both your nostrils. Immerse the swab in the pre-filled tube and break the remaining swab; close the cap of the tube. On the test card put two drop one after the other by pressing the tube and wait for 15 minutes for the result. Any result taking more than 20 minutes to appear is considered invalid.”
The test card will have two sections – control (C) and test (T) , so if the bar is only on C, the result is Covid-19 negative and if the bar is visible on both C and T, the result is Covid-19 positive.
According to experts, the home-based Covid-19 testing kits are relevant during the runaway infection pattern.
Dr GC Khilnani, ex-head of pulmonology department, AIIMS, New Delhi revealed, “These tests are used in developed countries such as US and UK. Since these tests have high specificity, it can be used at places where positivity rate is high so as to be able to detect cases early. Positive cases through RAT are mostly true positives.”
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