Coviself: Self Testing Kit:
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved India’s first self-use Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) for Covid-19 named as CoviSelf.
- It is developed by MyLab Discovery Solutions, a Pune-based molecular company.
- ICMR is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, and is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
- It uses a RAT and gives results within 15 minutes.
- This test is synced with a mobile app, CoviSelf, which will help directly feed the positive case’s report on the ICMR portal.
- ICMR has advised this test only for those who have symptoms or are high-risk contacts of positive patients and need to conduct a test at home.
- This test is not advised for general screening in public places of hawkers, show owners, or commuters.
Rapid Antigen Test:
- It is a test on swabbed nasal samples that detects antigens (foreign substances that induce an immune response in the body) that are found on or within the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- It is a point-of-care test, performed outside the conventional laboratory setting, and is used to quickly obtain a diagnostic result.
- Like RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction), the RAT too seeks to detect the virus rather than the antibodies produced by the body.
- While the mechanism is different, the most significant difference between the two is time.
- In an RT-PCR test, RNA (Ribonucleic acid) is extracted from the swab collected from the patient. It is then converted into DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), which is then amplified.
- RT-PCR test takes a minimum of 2-5 hours whereas the maximum duration for interpreting a positive or negative test in RAT is 30 minutes.