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ICMR approves home-based RAT kit Covid-19:

ICMR approves home testing kit, issues advisory. Here’s how to use it

A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a swab from a police officer for a rapid antigen test  (REUTERS)
A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a swab from a police officer for a rapid antigen test (REUTERS)

2 min read. Updated: 19 May 2021, 10:57 PM IST Edited By Aparna Banerjea

  • ICMR states that individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required
  • All symptomatic individuals who test negative must get tested by RTPCR as RATs are likely to miss few positive cases with low viral load, it adds

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday issued an advisory for COVID-19 home testing using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) in view of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the list of advisories, the ICMR stated that individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required. All symptomatic individuals who test negative must get tested by RTPCR as RATs are likely to miss few positive cases with low viral load.

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For the RAT-based home testing purpose, the ICMR has approved the test kit manufactured by Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd. The name of the kit is CoviSelfTM(PathoCatch) COVID-19 OTC Antigen LF device and the test sample needed is a nasal swab.

Here is a lowdown on ICMR’s advisory on home testing of Covid-19 cases:

-Home testing by RAT is advised only in symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases.

-Indiscriminate testing is not advised.

-Home testing should be conducted as per the procedure described by the manufacturer in the user manual

-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.

-All individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required.

-All test positive individuals are advised to follow home isolation and care as per the ICMR & Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) protocol which can be accessed at https://www.icmr.gov.in/chomecare.html.

-All symptomatic individuals who test negative by RAT should get themselves immediately tested by RTPCR. 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/MoH&FW home isolation protocol while awaiting the RTPCR test result.

-All results may be interpreted as per the protocol laid down by the manufacturer in the user manual (pictorial and video link of the user manual is provided below against the name of the approved test kit).

-Manufacturer’s instructions must be strictly followed for disposal of the test kit, swab and other materials.


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