Pune: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given a nod to a home-based rapid antigen testing (RAT) kit for COVID-19. The testing kit will be available soon in the market and can be used for detecting cases from home.
The kit is developed by MyLabs Discovery Solutions from Pune and can be used at home and is advisable only to symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases, the ICMR said.
Mylab Discovery Solutions, the company that gave India its first RTPCR test last year, has announced that it has received ICMR’s approval for India’s first self-use rapid test for Covid-19. The test is developed in the country and is named as CoviSelfTM.
According to ICMR guidelines, the self-use test can be used by symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of confirmed cases. Users of this test will not need sample collection by a healthcare expert. This will ease pressure on already overburdened testing labs and reduce delays in testing, which is more than 72 hours in some parts of the country.
With CoviSelfTM, the company aims to make testing reach doorstep of every Indian to help them fight the second and any subsequent waves of pandemic. With this, the early detection can help save thousands of lives and significantly reduce burden on hospitals. The test can be purchased without a prescription from local pharmacies and online channel partners.
Commenting on the same, Hasmukh Rawal, Managing Director of Mylab Discovery Solutions said, “This is the biggest crisis our country has ever faced. Time and again, we have tried to observe carefully what our country needs and developed solutions with social benefit at the core. With CoviSelfTM, we are
sharing the power of testing early with the citizens. It will save thousands of lives. For India, we
will make millions of kits available at fraction of the cost of such kits in the US.”
Each kit will be provided with all testing materials, instructions to use (IFU) leaflet and a biohazard bag to safely dispose after testing. The test is designed to be done using nasal swab (not the deep nasopharyngeal swab) to reduce the discomfort. CoviSelfTM will provide results in 15 min and people who test positive should immediately isolate so that they do not infect others and quickly contact a healthcare provider. Those who test negative and continue to experience COVID-like symptoms should seek follow up care from their healthcare provider.
“Most western countries have allowed self-test for their citizens and consider it as a powerful tool to break the chain. This easy-to-use test combines with Myab’s AI-powered mobile app so that a user can know his/her positive status, submit the result to ICMR directly for traceability, and know what to do next in either case of result. We are sure this small step will be a big leap in mitigating the second and subsequent waves. “, said Sujit Jain, Director at Mylab Discovery Solutions.
The price for the test is Rs 250 will be available in a pack of one. The company will start shipping out tests in coming days.
HOME TESTING MOBILE APP
On the other side, ICMR has stated the home testing mobile app is available in Google play store and Apple store.
The mobile app is a comprehensive guide of the testing procedure and will provide a positive or negative test result to the individual. All users are advised to click a photograph of the test strip after completing the test procedure with the same device which has been used for downloading the app and user registration.
The advisory stated, “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.”
In an advisory, the ICMR has also cautioned people against indiscriminate home testing using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), saying it should be used only on symptomatic individuals and on the immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases. All individuals who test positive through the RAT kit may be considered as true positives and no-repeat testing is required, the advisory of ICMR stated.