Amidst the outcry caused by the Corona virus in the country, now two kits have been launched for testing in the country, through which the infection can be checked at home. These kits are Coviself and PanBio COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved two home based Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits. They can only be used by people having symptoms of infection and who have been in contact with the infected person. The ICMR has approved the Pune-based CoviSelf of Mylab Discovery Solutions Limited and the COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device (PanBio COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device) developed by Chicago-based Abbott Rapid Diagnostics PanBio. It has got provisional approval till July 5.
ICMR said that, “Indiscriminate testing is not recommended. Tests should be done as per the instructions of the user manual. By this, the test at home should be done only when there are symptoms and contact with a confirmed infected case in the lab.” All positive. Individuals are advised to follow home isolation and care rules as per ICMR and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare protocols.
Such persons with corona symptoms whose test was negative in RAT should get RTPCR test done immediately. This is especially important as some positive cases with low viral load are likely to be missed in the RAT.
All persons with RAT negative symptoms can be treated as suspected COVID-19 cases and are advised to follow the home isolation protocol of ICMR or Ministry of Health while awaiting RTPCR test results. All results can be interpreted as per the protocol prescribed by the manufacturer in the user manual. The manufacturer’s instructions for disposal of test kits, swabs and other materials should be strictly followed.
Using various RTPCR platforms to diagnose Covid-19 in the country. According to the advisory of ICMR in May this year, the total daily national testing capacity is close to 1.5 lakh tests.