The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given its approval to Abbott Rapid Diagnostics Division’s home-based Rapid Antigen Test kit. Provisional clearance has been granted for the PanBio Covid19 Antigen Test Device, a self-use kit, till July 5, 2021. Following that, the business will announce the kit’s price.
ICMR had earlier given its nod to the CoviSelf test kit by Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions, which was priced at ₹250 per kit.
The ICMR has already issued an advisory on the use of self-test kits. RAT is advised only in symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases. All users can download the home testing mobile app, which is accessible on Google Play and Apple Store. The mobile app is a comprehensive guide of the testing procedure and will provide a positive or negative test result to the patient.
As per the guidelines, all users need to click a picture of the test strip after completing the test procedure with the same smartphone used to download the mobile app and user registration.
According to the advisory, individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives, and no-repeat testing is required. 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.
Meanwhile, all RAT negative symptomatic individuals may be treated as suspect Covid-19 cases and need to follow the Health Ministry and ICMR’s home isolation guidelines while awaiting the RTPCR test result. In addition, the manufacturer’s instructions must be strictly followed for disposal of the test kit, swab, and other materials said the advisory.