India’s 1st Home Testing Kit developed by Mylabs to be sold at Rs 250

So far, India has conducted around 32 crore Covid-19 tests.

TNI Bureau: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has authorised a self-use rapid antigen test (RAT) kit created by Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions in what might be a fundamental change in the way Indians test themselves for Covid-19.

So far, India has conducted around 32 crore Covid-19 tests. According to Health Ministry figures, over 20 lakh tests were performed across the country on Wednesday. According to ICMR Director-General Dr. Balram Bhargava, boosting testing was crucial to India’s pandemic containment strategy, and a significant effort was underway to reduce test positive to less than 5%.

According to the ICMR’s guidelines, the self-use test kit could be used by symptomatic persons and direct contacts of patients diagnosed. As per Dr. Nivedita Gupta, head of the ICMR’s virology unit, India’s Covid testing network already comprises 2,553 laboratories, and home testing would allow individuals to test early and quarantine themselves to minimize transmission.

The CoviSelf test kit will cost Rs 250 and will be available without a prescription from pharmacies and online, according to the company. The ICMR has posted a directive about the use of these self-test kits. Each user must download a mobile application (CoviSelf), and after finishing the test procedure, they are urged to take a photograph of the test strip with the same mobile phone that was used for downloading the app and user registration.

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According to the advisory issued by ICMR, “The 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.”

As per MyLab Managing Director Hasmukh Rawal’s statement, “Each kit will be provided with all testing materials, and instructions for use (IFU) leaflet and a biohazard bag to safely dispose of test materials afterward. The test is designed to be done using a nasal swab (not the deep nasopharyngeal swab) to reduce the discomfort. CoviSelf will provide results in 15 minutes.”

According to Mylab, the kits would be offered in affordable one-kit packages. Mylab’s current manufacturing capacity is 70 lakh tests per week, and the company hopes to scale it up to 1 crore per week within 14 days.

Rapid antigen tests, like CoviSelf, are less efficient than RT-PCR lab tests, which are considered the most reliable form of testing. They are, however, less expensive and easier to administer, and they provide benefits rapidly. Given the spread of the epidemic into rural regions, the Health Ministry last week advised a major increase of RAT testing.

Dr. Gupta stated that 105 RAT kits have been verified thus far, with 41 of them approved. However, not all of these can be utilised for Covid home testing, according to her.

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