Know about COVID-19 home-testing kits

In order to lessen the pressure on labs amid coronavirus, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved COVID-19 home testing using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs).

According to Dr Md Shakeel Ahmed, head emergency medicine, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, users of this test will not need sample collection by a healthcare professional.

How does the home-testing kit work?


Each kit provides instructions and a biohazard bag to be safely disposed of after testing. The test is designed to be done using a nasal swab (not the deep nasopharyngeal swab) to reduce the discomfort. The kit is supposed to provide results in 15 minutes and people who test positive should immediately isolate so they do not infect others.

How to know if someone has tested positive?

Dr Ahmed says the kit has a control line and a test line that will indicate the result. “If both control line C and test line T appear in the cartridge, the presence of novel coronavirus antigen is confirmed, and the result is positive. This takes up to around 15 minutes.”

Additionally, if “only quality control line C appears, but the test line T does not appear, it indicates novel coronavirus antigen has not been detected and the result is negative”.

If the quality control line C is not observed, it will be invalid regardless of whether there is a test line T. “In this case, the test shall be conducted again.”

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