Covid-19 self testing kit was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationin November 2020. At that time, cases of corona infection were slowly gaining momentum. The government allowed the home test kit to allow people to take covid test at home itself.
In India also, more than three lakh new patients are coming out every day for the last 10 days. Active cases are also increasing. In the case of patients too, India is behind only America. Amid rising data, the government has recommended total lockdown across the country. In such circumstances, this home test kit can prove to be a game changer for India.
Let us know what is this test kit? What are its benefits? How can they be used in India to prevent corona?
What is Home Testing Kit?
Now you have to have rapid antigen or RT-PCR or similar test to detect corona. All these tests require medical experts and labs. Corona’s home test kit is an easy alternative. It is like a pregnancy test kit. The corona can be tested if a sample is to be inserted. With this help, a person can do corona test at home without the help of any lab or medical expert.
How Does This Kit Work?
This test kit works on lateral flow test. You put a sample taken from your nose or throat into the tube. This tube is already filled with a liquid. This tube is inserted inside the kit where the liquid is fitted with a absorbent pad. Through this pad, the liquid travels to a bandage where antibodies already recognizing the sporin proteins of the coronavirus are present. If you are suffering from coronavirus then these antibodies become active and the kit shows your test positive. There is a display on the kit where the result of the report is displayed. The report can also be viewed on your email or on the app of the company that makes the test kit.
What are The Benefits of This Kit?
- There will be a test sitting at home. This will prevent people from getting tested and the risk of spreading the infection will be less.
- This test kit is cheaper than RT-PCR or any other test.
- Test can be done by itself. No medical expert or lab required.
- Test reports are available in 15 minutes to half an hour. It takes at least 1 day to report the RT-PCR test done in the lab.
What are The Disadvantages of This Kit?
- Having a test done at home will make it difficult to monitor the data of infected patients. Those whose test positive will come will not give the correct information out of fear.
- There will be a possibility of disturbances in taking samples by yourself as compared to medical experts, which will also affect the results of the test.
- Home test kit accuracy is lower than tests conducted in the lab. Due to this, the chances of getting wrong results are more.
- If a test result of an infected person comes negative then it can also infect other members of the household.
How Accurate Are The Results of These Kits?
Compared to tests conducted in the lab, the accuracy of the results of the home test kit has been observed to be 20% to 30%. Taking a sample incorrectly, taking a test within 1-2 days of becoming infected can also cause a negative report. Experts believe that even though the method of doing both tests may be the same, the difference in accuracy is more in their results.
Why Were These Kits Needed?
Increasing cases of coronaviruses have led to a shortage of health facilities. Problems such as shortage of doctors, shortage of beds in hospitals started coming up wherever the cases increased. Also, a large part of medical experts are also involved in testing of patients. In such a situation, if the corona can be tested by itself, then the dependence on medical experts will be reduced and they will be able to use some other work.
Also, to get any test done, you have to go to the hospital or some other place. It is not safe, given the risk of infection. In such a situation, if the test can be done at home itself, then the speed of spreading the infection will also be reduced.
Is This Kit Available in India?
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released the guidelines on 27 April. It states that the kits that the US, World Health Organization (WHO) and 5 other countries have given permission to use, can be used in India. There is no need to seek separate permission from the ICMR. In addition, ICMR has also told these companies that all the data from the software or app for monitoring the results of the test should be connected to the central portal of Corona so that the data is not disturbed.