India’s apex health research body, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Wednesday gave its approval for a self-use rapid antigen testing (RAT) kit, CoviSelf, for testing Covid-19. The medical body has issued an advisory wherein it approved the use of this home-based kit. However, it has warned against indiscriminate testing.
All you need to know about ‘Coviself’
As the name suggests, Coviself is a do-it-yourself kit for Covid-19 testing, manufactured by Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd. According to ICMR, the kit will be priced at Rs 250 per pack and will be available in the markets in a week’s time.
“The company will start shipping out tests within a few days. Mylab current production capacity is 7 million tests per week and plans to increase its capacity to 10 million tests per week within 14 days,” the company said.
This self-use test kit can be used by symptomatic patients and immediate contacts of confirmed cases as per ICMR guidelines. Only a nasal swab will be required for this rapid antigen testing. The test results will then have to be uploaded by the home users themselves through an app that is available on the Google play store and Apple store. The data in the app of the mobile phone will be centrally captured in a secure server that is connected with the ICMR COVID-19 testing portal. Here all data will be eventually stored, ICMR said in an advisory.
ICMR has approved the self-test rapid antigen Covid-19 testing kit 'Coviself' developed by @MylabSolutions. Using the kit people can collect their own nasal swab and check results within minutes. This will immensely help in early and quick detection which is key to the treatment. pic.twitter.com/RvfYyuTGm2— Dr Sudhakar K (@mla_sudhakar) May 20, 2021
The test kits can be purchased without a prescription from local pharmacies and online channel partners, read the advisory.
This would spare the patients from the trouble of going to health care centres for sample collection. The medical body is also hopeful that this move would be beneficial in easing pressure on already overburdened testing labs. It believes that this step would also help reduce the delays in testing.
Batting for the self-test kit, ICMR confirmed that all individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and there would be no need for a repeat test. However, all RAT negative symptomatic individuals will be treated as suspect Covid-19 cases and would be expected to follow the ICMR and Health Ministry home isolation protocol while awaiting the RTPCR test result.