Pune lab develops self-use rapid test for Covid-19 at rs 250: India’s first home test kit
According to the ICMR's guidelines, symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts with reported cases should use the self-use test kit.
Image Caption: The test kit has been priced at Rs 250. (Photo Credit: Twitter/Mylab)
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved the country's first home-based, self-use rapid test for Covid-19, the test's developers, MyLab Discovery Solutions confirmed on Thursday.
According to the ICMR's guidelines, symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts with reported cases should use the self-use test kit. The CoviSelf test kit will cost Rs 250 and will be available without a prescription from pharmacies and online, as per the company.
Further, the test would require the patient to download an app to their smartphone, and no swab sample will be collected by a healthcare professional.
“The home testing kit will be available in drug stores soon, and you can download the mobile app, test yourself, click the picture, and upload it to the phone that gives you the result,” ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava said.
MyLab, a biotechnology company based in Pune, developed India's first indigenous RT-PCR test kits for the novel coronavirus a year ago. Following Mylab's, Dr Bhargava said three more home test kits were in the works.
“Each kit will be equipped with all testing materials, an instructions for use (IFU) leaflet, and a biohazard bag to safely dispose of test materials afterward,” says MyLab Managing Director Hasmukh Rawal. " To minimise pain, the procedure is intended to be performed with a nasal swab rather than a deep nasopharyngeal swab. In 15 minutes, CoviSelf will have results.”
According to Mylab, the kits would be sold in single-use packs at a reasonable price. Mylab's total production capacity is 70 lakh tests per week, and the company expects to increase it to 1 crore tests per week within 14 days, as per the company.
“Most western countries have allowed self-testing for their people, and consider it a powerful tool to break the chain,” said Sujit Jain, Director of MyLab (of transmission of the virus).
This simple test can be used in conjunction with Myab's AI-powered mobile app to determine a user's positive status, upload the result directly to the ICMR for traceability, and determine what to do next in the event of either result. We are certain that this small step will pave the way for the second and subsequent waves of infection to be mitigated.”
Increased research, Dr Bhargava said, is at the core of India's pandemic containment campaign, and a huge effort is underway to reduce test positivity to under 5%.
“In cities, towns, and villages, multiple RAT (rapid antigen testing) booths should be set up 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Dr. Bhargava said, "We have a goal of 25 lakh tests by the end of the month, and up to 45 lakh tests by next month."
So far, India has conducted over 32 crore Covid-19 checks. According to data from the Health Ministry, over 20 lakh tests were performed across the country on Wednesday.