With rising Coronavirus cases in India, it is important to update ourselves with every piece of information regarding COVID-19 and follow the government’s guidelines to pay our contribution in the fight against coronavirus phantom.
Recently Indian Council of Medical Research has approved the COVID-19 home testing kits using the Rapid Antigen Test that provides the result in just 15 minutes. Positive tested people can isolate themselves immediately and avoid infecting others. In addition, the self-use tests done by the symptomatic individuals and those who had immediate contact with the confirmed cases will help in the timely diagnosis and treatment. Below is our article on corona test kit to answer all your related queries.
What Is The Rapid COVID-19 Home Test Kit
India’s first self-test kit is a Rapid Antigen Test, ‘CoviSelf” manufactured by Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd. With the availability of covid-19 home test kit, anyone can collect their nose sample at home and test it for SARS-CoV2.
How Rapid Home Test Kit Works?
The self-collection kit will soon be available at all retail stores and nearby pharmacies with or without a prescription. The test kit can also be purchase from an online channel partner.
What Corona Test Kit Consists?
Each self-collection kit consists of:
- A sterile nasal swab
- Fluid-filled extraction tube
- 1 testing card
- Instruction leaflet. Before conducting the test, read the instructions properly
- A biohazard bag so that after testing, you can dispose of the materials safely.
How To Use a COVID-19 Home Test Kit?
Before starting with the rapid antigen test kit, you need to download a home testing mobile application named ‘Mylab Coviself’ and enter the details. It is an imperative step as the test is synced with the mobile app on a secure server connected to the ICMR portal. The app will capture the data and report the positive cases on the ICMR portal. In addition, the app will provide you with a complete guideline on how you can use the testing kit and how to interpret the result.
What Are Preparations To Be Done Before Conducting Rapid-Point-Of-Care Test?
Before performing a self-use test, you need to do the following preparations:
- Clean the place and prepare it to conduct the test. For this, identify a table in an isolated room and sanitize its surface.
- Wash your hands with soap and air-dry your hands.
- Tear the pouch and empty the contents of the kit on the table
How To Perform COVID-19 Home Test?
Insert the swab provided in the kit in your nose about 2 to 4 cm inside until it touches the back of your nasal tract and resistant is met. Rub it well, roll the swab a few time in both the nostrils and collect the specimen. The swab is then swirled inside the extraction tube and mixed with liquid inside the tube. To avoid any spillage, close the tube tightly. This is followed by putting two drops of fluid from the extraction tube on the testing card. The whole process will take hardly 2 minutes. After the test is conducted, wait for 15 minutes to get the result.
How To Interpret The COVID -19 Rapid Antigen Test Result?
The test card has two bars, a control bar ‘C’ and a test ‘T’ bar. If only the control line appears in the cartridge, the test is negative, and if the bars appear in both the sections, the test is positive. In general, a positive test takes about 5 to 7 minutes, but still, you need to wait for 15 minutes to confirm a negative result. If your result takes more than 20 minutes or if quality control line is not observed, the test is invalid.
To avoid any confusion, after 15 minutes of the test conduction, upload the image of the test result on the application. The application will show you the results.
After conducting the test and getting the result, seal the swap and the tube in biohazard bag and dispose the biomedical waste.
Precautions Before And After Using Corona Test Kit At Home:
- It is crucial to collect the sample specimen as instructed and perform the test correctly to avoid getting a false result.
- Do not open the test components until you are ready for the testing process.
- Do not use an expired self-test kit or that has discoloured or damaged components.
- Read and record the result within the specified time. If the result is read before or after the specified time, it may be incorrect.
- Never re-use the test kit.
- Discard the collected specimen and the test kit as instructed.
- After completing the test and discarding the used kit, properly disinfect the surfaces and wash your hands with soap water.
- A positive test indicates the presence of Coronavirus antigen. If you get a positive test, isolate yourself immediately, seek follow up care and avoid self-medication as it may be harmful or life-threatening.
What Is The Cost Of The COVID-19 Home Test Kit In India?
India approves COVID-19 self-test kit to cost ₹250 per kit.
Who Can Use The COVID – 19 Rapid Antigen Test Kit?
According to ICMR guidelines, any symptomatic individual or immediate contacts with confirmed positive coronavirus cases can get themselves tested using self-use kits.
What Are The Advantages Of COVID-19 Home Test Kit?
With the availability of self-use test kits at your local pharmacy shops, it is now possible for anyone to test anywhere. This will no doubt cut cues outside the laboratory and dissipate the burden on lab staff for collecting the samples from homes. No doubt, it will prevent COVID positive patients from being unwantedly exposed to others while standing in que to be tested, visiting labs or while giving samples.
The result of the self-test kit is available within 15 minutes. This will lead to prompt isolation and early treatment, and if required, hospitalization. Even immediate contacts with COVID positive can test themselves at home and help prevent further transmission of diseases.
As the corona test kit comes in disposable plastic cassettes, it is portable and can be used anywhere.
What Is The Difference Between COVID-19 Home Test Kit And RT-PCR Tests?
The COVID-19 self-use test is Rapid Antigen Test that detects the protein fragment specific to Coronavirus. It is frequently referred to as Rapid test or Rapid-Point-Of-Care test as the turn-around time for the result is very quick.
On the other hand, the RT-PCR test is a molecular real-time polymerase chain reaction test that detects the genetic material specific to coronavirus. The turnaround time is longer than the rapid antigen test. The result can be reported in as little as 24 hours. However, due to the rise in the covid-19 cases and high demand, the result may take two days to a week or longer, which may delay treatment and hospitalization.
For Rapid Antigen test, only nose swab specimen is required, and Molecular test requires both throat and nose samples.
RT-PCR test is carried out and confirmed in the laboratories by a specialist. It uses specialised equipment.
Self-use test kit or Rapid-point-of-care test can be perform at locations other than health care settings. It is easy to perform test that requires minimal extra equipment without any complicated preparatory steps. No doubt, it is less expensive than the standard laboratory test that may cost between INR 500 to INR 1200 in private labs in India. In addition, as the rapid antigen test gives a quick result, it will help in isolation of COVID-19 positive patient during the initial stages of infection and will prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.
How Accurate Is A COVID-19 Home Test Kit?
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, there is no need to get the Rapid antigen test results analysed in the laboratories by a specialist. Experts say, if the test is done correctly, it is effective. Research conducted in March 2021 found that the Rapid test is more accurate if administered during the first week of experiencing symptoms because people have more virus load in their system in initial days of infection. The chances of a false-negative test result from rapid antigen test ranges up to 20 to 30%. However, we should not neglect the fact that even RT-PCR tests have given false negative results. Thus, if the antigen test is positive, believe it. If antigen test is negative and you still experience coronavirus symptoms, better seek follow-up from a doctor and Get more accurate RT-PCR test if recommended by your health care provider.
The rise in coronavirus cases all across the country has increased the need for COVID-19 tests, which has indirectly burdened the diagnostic labs leading to a shortage of testing kits and delayed results. We are hopeful that the COVID-19 home test kit will play an imperative role in managing and reducing corona cases and controlling the COVID pandemic. In our article, we have tried to answer every related question; if you have any query regarding the corona test kit, add to the comment section below.