The ICMR has approved a self-testing Covid-19 kit called CoviSelf Se now any person can use at home. A guide to what this test is and how you can use it.
At present every day India is testing samples in the range of 16-19 lakhs to detect Covid-19 cases. On May 19, India tested more than 20 lakh samples. Still, many complain that getting tested for Covid-19 by a lab is not easy, especially in cities with high caseloads and in districts where pathological labs of stipulated bio-safety levels are few.
Now, the Indian Council of Medical Research ICMR has approved a self-testint Covid-19kit. Any person can use this kit to test their Covid-19 positivity at home. There is no requirement to visit an earmarked pathological laboratory to get one’s sample tested.
ABOUT SELF-TESTING COVID-19 KIT:
The Covid-19 CoviSelf testing kit to be used at home and it is a rapid antigen testing (RAT) for the presence of SARS-CoV-2. CoviSelf tests only the nasal sample of the person required to screen one’s Covid-19 status.
According to ICMR home testing by RAT is advised only in symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases.
No need any prescription by a doctor for test samples by CoviSelf kits. The test is “authorised for non-prescription home use with self-collected nasal swab specimens from individuals. Any age group of 18 years and older or with adult-collected samples from individuals aged two years or older,” the ICMR said.
The CoviSelf kit comes with a manual detailing how to conduct the Covid-19 test. The kit is placed inside a pouch containing a nasal swab, a pre-filled extraction tube and a test card.
After procuring the CoviSelf kit, the users need to download the Mylab app on their mobile phones and fill up their credentials.
The user has to be careful while gathering the nasal sample. The swab head that comes with the kit should not be touched. This swab needs to be inserted two-three centimetres inside the nostrils, and rolled five times inside each nostril.
The user must dip the swab in the pre-filled extraction tube and pinch the tube at the bottom. Now, the nasal swab needs to be spun 10 times, making sure that the sample containing part is immersed well in the extraction buffer.
There is a breakpoint marked on the swab. Break the swab and discard the remainder while mixing it well in the extraction buffer. Cover the tube with an attached nozzle cap and tighten the lid.
Now, add two full drops of extracted antigen buffer mixture into the sample well of the kit by pressing the tube. Results will appear in 10-15 minutes. If results don’t reflect in 20 minutes, it is Covid-19 negative. Results that appear after 20 minutes are not valid.
The results will be available on the app that user had downloaded on the phone. The app is centrally connected to the ICMR server notifying the agency about the result. A positive result is confirmed. However, a negative result with a person showing symptoms should go for RT-PCR lab testing.
Cost of Coviself Kit:
The ICMR said the people taking CoviSelf test for Covid-19 have their data secured. It said there is no threat to patient confidentiality. Mylab Discovery Solutions, the developer of CoviSelf kit, said it would cost Rs 250 per test.