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ICMR advises against indiscriminate Covid home testing using RAT

Currently, only one RAT Covid-19 home testing kit — CoviSelf (PathoCatch) COVID-19 OTC Antigen LF device — manufactured by Pune-based Mylab has been approved for home use.

Bengaluru, COVID-19 Testing, Coronavirus Test, Door to door testingA volunteer testing a two-year old baby in Bengaluru’s Bommanahalli Zone. (Express photo)

The ICMR on Wednesday issued an advisory stating that Covid-19 home testing using Rapid Antigen Tests (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 procedure described by the manufacturer in the user manual,” the ICMR said.

Currently, only one RAT Covid-19 home testing kit — CoviSelf (PathoCatch) COVID-19 OTC Antigen LF device — manufactured by Pune-based Mylab has been approved for home use.


ICMR has reiterated that all symptomatic individuals who test negative by RAT should get themselves immediately tested by RTPCR. “This is especially important as RATs are likely to miss [a] few positive cases presenting with a low viral load,” the advisory states. ICMR stated that the home testing mobile app should be downloaded by all users and that data in the app will be centrally captured in a secure server connected with the ICMR Covid-19 testing portal.

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“All users are advised to click a picture of the test strip after completing the test procedure with the same mobile phone used for downloading the mobile app and user registration,” ICMR has said.

The advisory stated that all RAT-negative symptomatic individuals may be treated as suspect Covid-19 cases and are advised to follow home isolation protocol while awaiting RTPCR test result.

“All individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required. All test positive individuals are advised to follow home isolation and care as per ICMR & Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) protocol,” it states.

First published on: 20-05-2021 at 07:00 IST
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