India Approves Home Test For COVID-19 Virus With RAT Kits Worth Rs. 250

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On the 19th of May, India approved the home based test for the Wuhan virus also known as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19.)   

The home based test for COVID-19 infection would be done through a rapid antigen test (RAT) kit, which would cost Rs. 250 per kit. The approval for the same was given by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR,) during the second wave of the Wuhan virus.

The ICMR released a statement regarding the same, which read, “Indiscriminate testing is not advised. 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 and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare protocol (sic.)” The issued advisory also read, “All symptomatic individuals who test negative by RAT should get themselves immediately tested by RT-PCR (reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction.) 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 home approval for COVID-19 tests came after the recent announcement of Dr. Balram Bhargava, the Director General of the ICMR. During a media briefing, Dr. Balram Bhargava said, the ICMR is exploring the home based COVID-19 testing solutions and days after the press meet, the ICMR approved the same.

The approved COVID-19 test kit is manufactured by Pune based Mylab Discovery Solutions Limited, which would be used only by ones with the symptoms of the Wuhan virus. The one who came in close contact with an infected person would also be able to take the RAT with the help of the kit.

Hasmukh Rawal, the Managing Director of the Pune based Maylab Discovery said, “The test kit will be available in the market in about a week’s time. It took us about 5 months to get the product ready. We have priced it at ₹250 per kit which includes taxes. The kit has been designed in a way that it is extremely simple to use and it is not a biohazard. There is a disposal bag that comes along for safely disposing off the items after use (sic.)” He further added, “A positive test will take about 5 to 7 minutes, and a negative result will take 15 minutes max.”

Speaking about the procedure of taking the COVID-19 test at home, Mr. Hasmukh Rawal said, in order to conduct the test, one needs to download the Maylab coviself application, available on Google Play Store and Apple Store. Following which, one with the help of the test kit could take the tests. The test kit/pouch would have pre filled extraction tube, a sterile nasal swab, one test card and a biohazard bag, for the Wuhan virus test.

Below is the process of taking the Wuhan virus test at home: 

  1. Insert the nasal swab in both the nostrils up to 2 to 4 cm or until resistance is met.
  2. Roll the swab five times inside both the nostrils.
  3. Immerse the swab in the pre filled tube and break the remaining swab, following which close the cap of the tube.
  4. On the test card put two drops one after the other by pressing the tube and wait for 15 minutes for the result.
  5. It is to be noted, any result taking more than 20 minutes would be considered as invalid.
  6. Soon, the test card which has two sections, one is the control section and another is the test section, would show the result.
  7. If a bar appears on the control section (C,) one tested negative for the Wuhan virus, but if the bar appears on the test section (T,) the individual is COVID-19 positive.
  8. Finally, the individual would need to put the card under the mobile phone’s camera in the Maylab app, which would read the test and would upload a report accordingly.


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