Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved a testing device for CoViD-19 which can be used at home. Manufactured by Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd., the self-testing kit is called ‘CoviSelf’. This will be India’s first home-based testing kit for CoViD-19 which is based on Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) technique. However, ICMR has also warned that ‘CoviSelf’ should be used only on immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases and on symptomatic individuals.
According to reports, it takes only 2 minutes or a maximum of 15 minutes to conduct the test and to get the result for CoViD-19. A positive test will take about 5 to 7 minutes. A negative result will take around 15 minutes. As per ICMR, if a person test positive via this device, no repeating of test is required and there will be no need for Rt-PCR test. However, one point to be noted is that, if the viral load in the nasal swab, collected for the testing, is too low, ‘CoviSelf’ is likely to miss few positive cases.
So, ICMR also advices that all symptomatic individuals who test negative by ‘CoviSelf’, should immediately get tested by Rt-PCR. Each kit will be provided with all testing materials, an instruction manual and a biohazard bag for safe disposal of the contents. There is no need for a deep nasopharyngeal swab, and just a nasal swab is needed. As per the company spokesperson, ‘CoviSelf’ will be available in India by the end of next week at a price of Rs 250. It is mandatory to download the ‘CoviSelf’-App by all users.