Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved the use of new Rapid Antigen Kits to conduct the Covid-19 test at home by individuals and has issued detailed guidelines on its use.
CoviSelf test is "authorised for non-prescription home use with self-collected nasal swab specimens from individuals aged 18 years and older or with adult-collected samples from individuals aged 2 years or older".
In its advisory, the ICMR said that this should not be used indiscriminately. Only those who have symptoms or those who are immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases should opt for this home-based testing.
All individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required. All symptomatic individuals who test negative by RAT should get themselves immediately tested by RTPCR as RAT does not detect cases of low viral load, ICMR said.
The home test should be conducted according to the process detailed in an app, which should be downloaded from the Google play store and Apple store, the ICMR said.
"The mobile app is a comprehensive guide of the testing procedure and will provide a positive or negative test result to the patient. All users are advised to click a picture of the test strip after completing the test procedure with the same mobile phone," the ICMR said.
The data from the 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.
The CoviSelf (PathoCatch) COVID-19 OTC Antigen LF device was created by the Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd. The company is expected to launch India's first self- se rapid antigen test (RAT) kit for Covid-19 for Rs 250 per pack.
The test kits can be purchased without a prescription from local pharmacies and online channel partners. This is expected to ease pressure on already overburdened testing labs and reduce delays in testing, which is more than 72 hours in some parts of the country.