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Covid in India: ICMR says rapid home tests advised only for symptomatic people

ANI/New Delhi
Filed on May 19, 2021
A medic collects a swab sample for the Covid-19 test in Surat. — ANI

According to ICMR's advisory, individuals who test negative by Rapid Antigen Tests should get themselves immediately tested by RT-PC

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday said that only symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of Covid-19 positive patients are advised for home testing by Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT).

“Home testing by RAT is advised only in symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of laboratory-confirmed positive cases. Indiscriminate testing is not advised. Home testing should be conducted as per the procedure described by the manufacturer in the user manual (pictorial and video link of the user manual is provided below against the name of the approved test kit),” reads the ICMR advisory.

The ICMR suggests users to download the home testing mobile app on their smartphones and said the app is a comprehensive guide of the testing procedure and will provide a positive or negative test result to the patient.

“All users are advised to click a picture of the test strip after completing the test procedure with the same mobile phone which has been used for downloading the mobile app and user registration. Data in the app of your mobile phone will be centrally captured in a secure server that is connected with the ICMR Covid-19 testing portal, where all data will be eventually stored. Patient confidentiality will be fully maintained. All individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no-repeat testing is required,” ICMR said.

The Council further said symptomatic individuals who test negative by RAT should get themselves immediately tested by RT-PCR. “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,” it added.

The ICMR said CoviSelf (PathoCatch) Covid-19 OTC Antigen LF device manufactured by Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd has been validated and approved.

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