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Home-based COVID-19 test kit approved by ICMR

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved a home-based rapid antigen test kit for COVID-19. The council has said the test kit should be used only on people having symptoms of the viral infection and for testing immediate contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in a laboratory-confirmed test.

The home-based rapid antigen testing kit has been manufactured by Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Limited. Only nasal swabs will work in the rapid test kit and the test will have to be performed as per the instructions of the manufacturer, ICMR said.

No repeat testing required, says ICMR

The ICMR warned people against indiscriminate home testing using home-based test kits, saying it should be used only on symptomatic individuals and on the immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases.

All individuals who test positive in the home-based test may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required, ICMR said.

Also Read: Over 2.76 lakh COVID-19 cases, 3874 deaths in a day in India

“Home testing by RAT is advised only in symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases. Indiscriminate testing is not advised,” the research body said.

RT-PCR test required in some cases

ICMR also clarified that all symptomatic individuals who test negative by RAT should get themselves immediately tested by RT-PCR. This is especially important as the RATs are likely to miss few positive cases presenting with a low viral load.

“All RAT negative symptomatic individuals may be treated as suspect COVID-19 cases and are advised to follow the ICMR/Ministry of Health home isolation protocol while awaiting the RT-PCR test result,” the advisory stated.

The ICMR said the home testing mobile app is available in Google play store and Apple store and must be downloaded by all users. 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 which has been used for downloading the mobile app and user registration.

“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,” the advisory underlined.

 

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