It is being said that the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India is past its peak. Now, this should mean that things are getting calmer and more in control, right? Unfortunately, when it comes to the daily fresh case count in India, it is just a relative decline and we are still registering over 2.5 lakh cases per day. This is an inundating number which means that medicines continue to be low in stock across the country and it is still very difficult to get an RT PCR done immediately after the onset of symptoms.
In fact, getting tested has been a nightmare and an almost impossible task for so many during the second wave. Just last month, my uncle waited for an entire week to finally get tested after getting a fever for 7 days straight. Now, timely intervention and treatment is everything when it comes to COVID-19 treatment and all these delays have proved to be fatal for so many in India.
But seems like COVID-19 testing might not be a herculean task anymore. Amid the current crisis, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has now approved a kit called CoviSelf which will let people test themselves at home. Here is everything that you need to know about this innovative testing kit:
CoviSelf is a rapid antigen testing kit and requires only the nose swab for COVID-19 testing at home. As per ICMR’s recent advisory, 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”.
Worried that you might have contracted COVID-19? Here is how to conduct a self test at home with the help of CoviSelf:
Before starting the test, you’ll be required to download the MyLab App and fill in your credentials.
The kit comes in a pouch and contains:
-A nasal swab
-A pre-filled extraction tube
-A test card
-A biohazard bag
Here is how you can conduct the test:
Step 1: Take out the swab stick without touching the swab head. Now, insert the swab inside both of your nostrils up to 2 to 3 centimetres or till you can feel the resistance. Roll the swab stick five times inside each nostril.
Step 2: Dip the swab head in the extraction tube and swirl it ten times just to ensure that it is completely immersed in the tube.
Step 3: Now locate the breaking point of the swab stick, break it off, and cover the tube with the nozzle cap attached to it.
Step 4: With the help of the nozzle cap, add two drops from the extraction tube to the cavity in the test card.
Step 5: Wait for 15 minutes for the result to appear. After 15 minutes the app would raise an alarm indicating that your test result has arrived. Remember that any result appearing after 20 minutes is considered invalid.
-Once the test in done, collect all the contents, put them in the biohazard bag, and dispose them off safely.
There are two markers on your test card—C (Quality Control) and T (Test Line). If a line appears in front of only the C marker C then you have tested negative. If a line appears in front of both C and T then you have tested positive.
As per the ICMR guidelines, here are a few things that you need to keep in mind before conducting a self-test with CoviSelf:
-Home testing is advised only for symptomatic individuals and those who have been in immediate contact with someone who tested positive.
-The home testing kit app is available on the Google play store and Apple store. It is mandatory to download it before conducting the test.
-Users are advised to click a picture of the testing strip with the same phone that has the MyLab app and the user’s initials.
-The MyLab app data will be centrally registered in a secure server that is connected with ICMR’s COVID-19 testing protocol.
-Anyone who tests positive will be treated as a true positive case, and no further tests will be required.
-All those who test positive would be required to isolate and follow the COVID-19 safety protocol.
-All symptomatic people who test negative on CoviSelf should immediately go for an RT-PCR.
-The user is required to strictly follow the disposal instructions as specified by the manufacturer.
Lastly, remember that ICMR has advised against random COVID-19 testing and this has to be done only if you have COVId-19 symptoms.
Featured Image: YouTube