scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Covid testing at home: A step-by-step guide for using diagnostic kits

According to ICMR, home testing by Rapid Antigen Test is currently advised in symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of confirmed positive cases.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 12, 2022 2:45:38 pm
You can also test yourself at home for Covid-19 (Source: Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise and testing facilities get overbooked, many people are exploring at-home or self-testing kits. According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), real time RTPCR and Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) are the mainstay of diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in India. It also said that currently home testing by RAT is advised in symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of confirmed positive cases.

ICMR lists three main types of Covid tests. Molecular tests (also known as PCR tests) detect the genetic material of the coronavirus. Antigen tests detect coronavirus proteins. Antibody tests detect antibodies produced by your body‘s immune system in response to a previous Covid infection. Antibody tests cannot be used to diagnose an active Covid infection.

Preparations before the test

– It is important you find a clean place.
– Identify a table and sanitise the surface.
– Wash your hands with soap, and make sure they are dry before you perform the test.
– Tear the pouch and lay the contents of the kit on the table.
– Before you proceed, download the app mentioned in the testing kit and fill in the credentials. This is important so that no positive case is missed.

How to test at home using CoviSelf (PathoCatch) COVID-19 OTC Antigen LF device by Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd, Pune

Test sample: Nasal swab

Test time: 1 minute

Result time: 15 minutes

What does it detect? According to coviself.com, the test kit detects all Covid-19 variants including Omicron.

What does the kit have?

The test kit is specifically for at-home tests. (Photo: Twitter/Mylab)

Each CoviSelf COVID-19 Antigen Test pouch contains:

One pre-filled extraction tube
One sterile nasal safe swab
One instruction manual
One test card
One disposal bag

How to use?

*Wash your hands with soap. Make sure your hands are dry before you perform the test.
*Tear the pouch.
*Download the MyLab Coviself app on your smartphone from Google Play store or App store. Fill in the credentials and then proceed with the test.
*Take the pre-filled extraction tube. Tap it gently on the table 3-4 times to ensure that the liquid settles at the bottom.
*Unscrew the cap and hold the tube in your hand.
*Open the sterile nasal safe swab while holding the tube in your hand. Hold it from the tear-end. Do not touch the swab end.
*Carefully insert the sterile nasal safe swab in both your nostrils one after the other up to 2-4 cms or until resistance is met.
*Roll the swab five times in each nostril.
*Dip the nasal swab in the pre-filled extraction tube.
*Pinch the bottom of the tube and swirl the nasal swab well. Make sure the swab is immersed in the liquid.
*Find the break point and break the swab.
*Cover the tube with the nozzle cap.
*Now, take the test card and add two drops into the well by pressing the tube.
*Wait for 15 minutes for the results to appear.

Note: 

*Any results appearing after 20 minutes are considered invalid.
*The app uses artificial intelligence to alarm when 15 minutes are over. You can then download the report from the app.

If there is only quality control C and no test line T appears, it indicates that Covid antigen has not been deducted. And the result is negative.

What to keep in mind?

Coviself.com states all symptomatic individuals who test negative by RAT should get themselves tested by RTPCR. This is especially important as 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 and are advised to follow MoHFW isolation protocol while awaiting the RTPCR test result.

Coviself.com says if you test positive, you are considered as true positive and no repeat testing is required.

Follow home care isolation protocol.

How to dispose?

The swab is inserted in the license buffer tube which kills Covid-19 and other viruses. All the components should be put inside the disposable bag and thrown in the household waste. Disinfect all surfaces. Wash your hands.

How to test at home using PanBio COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device by Abbott Rapid Diagnostics Division, Chicago (Alere Medical Pvt Ltd, Gurugram)

Test sample: Nasal swab

Time to test: 1 minute

Result time: 15 minutes

What does it detect? Per the user manual, it is a lateral flow test that detects the nucleocapsid protein antigen of the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in a swab from the mid turbinate nasal region.

What does the kit have? The product includes a test device, a bottle with buffer solution, an extraction tube/cap and a nasal swab.

How to use?

*Download the NAVICA app. Open the app and follow the prompts to complete the test.
*Wash or sanitise your hands. Make sure they are dry before starting.
*Ensure kit is at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to use.
*Open the box and remove one each of the components to perform a single test.
*To use the test, buffer solution is added to the extraction tube.
*Keep Buffer Bottle upright, twist and pull tab to open bottle.
*Squeeze the liquid from the buffer bottle into the tube. You will need to squeeze at least twice. Put the tube into the tube rack before proceeding to
the next step.
*Open Swab protective package at stick end. Take swab out.
*Insert the soft end of the swab straight back into your nostril until resistance is felt (about 2cm).
*Slowly rotate the swab, gently rubbing it along the insides of your nasal passage at least five times. Remove swab. Once done in the other nostril too, insert the swab into the tube. Swirl. Pinch the swab tip through the tube to remove any remaining fluid.
*Hold the tube firmly with one hand. Lift the swab and locate the break line.
*Snap the Swab handle at the break line.
Leave the Swab in the tube and discard stick.

*After sample collection, the nasal swab is transferred to the extraction tube to extract the Coronavirus proteins.
*Next, five drops of extracted sample are applied to the round well on the test device.

How to know the result?

*A line in the Control (C) line area within the result reading window will only become visible if the test was performed correctly.
*A line in the Test (T) line area within the result reading window will only become visible if Coronavirus proteins are detected. The presence of only a Control (C) line, without visible Test (T) line, indicates the coronavirus proteins are not present.

What to keep in mind?

If the rapid antigen test results are negative and symptoms continue, individuals should immediately be tested by RT-PCR per ICMR Advisory. You are also advised to continue following local guidelines for self-isolation and consult your doctor, as per MoHFW.

How to dispose?

The swab is inserted in the license buffer tube which kills Covid-19 and other viruses. All the components should be put inside the disposable bag and thrown in the household waste. Disinfect all surfaces. Wash your hands.

How to test at home using CoviFind COVID-19 Rapid Ag Self Test by Meril Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, Vapi (Gujarat)

Test sample: Nasal swab

Time to test: 1 minute

Result time: 15 minutes

What does it detect? As per the user manual, a lateral flow test that detects the nucleocapsid protein antigen of the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in a swab from the mid turbinate nasal region

What does the kit have? The product includes a test device, a bottle with buffer solution, an extraction tube/cap and a nasal swab.

How to use?

*Download the COVIFIND app. Open the app and fill credentials.
*Wash or sanitise your hands. Make sure they are dry before starting.
*Ensure kit is at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to use.
*Open the pouch and remove one each of the components to perform a single test.
*Remove the sterile swab from the tail end.
*Carefully insert the swab into one nostril 2-4 cm or until resistance is met.
*Slowly rotate the swab, gently rubbing it along the insides of your nasal passage at least five times.
*Using the same swab, repeat in the other nostril.
*Insert the swab in the buffer tube and swirl it 8-10 times in the fluid.
*Pinch the swab tip through the tube to remove any remaining fluid.
*Hold the buffer tube firmly, lift the swab till breakpoint and snap the swab handle at breakpoint.
*Secure the cap on top of the buffer tube.
*Leave the swab in the tube and discard stick.
*Next, four drops of extracted sample are applied to the round well on the test device.

How to know the result?

*Click a photo of the test device on the app for result interpretation
*A coloured test line would be visible in the result window if SARS-CoV-2 antigens are present in the specimen. The intensity of coloured test line will vary depending upon the amount of SARS-CoV-2 antigen present in the specimen.
*If SARS- CoV-2 antigens are not present in the specimen, then no line appears in the test line.
*The control band is used for procedural control and should always appear if the test procedure is performed correctly
*A line in the Control (C) line area within the result reading window will only become visible if the test was performed correctly.
*A line in the Test (T) line area within the result reading window will only become visible if Coronavirus proteins are detected. The presence of only a Control (C) line, without visible Test (T) line, indicates the coronavirus proteins are not present.

What to keep in mind?

*A positive test result should be considered as a true positive and does not need reconfirmation by RT-PCR test.
*Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.
*Symptomatic individuals identified negative by RAT should be linked with RT-PCR test facility and subsequently get tested by RT-PCR to rule out COVID-19 infection. In the meantime, such individual will be urged to follow home isolation and treatment as a negative report on RAT may not be true negative in some cases.

How to dispose?

*Place the swab, tube and test device into the disposal bag.
*Seal the disposal bag and dispose the bag in a waste bin.
*Wash your hands.

How to test at home using Angcard COVID-19 Home test kit by Angstrom Biotech Pvt Ltd

Angcard testing kit is nasal swab based (Source: Angcard website)

Test sample: Saliva

Test time: 1-6 minutes

Result time: 15 minutes

How to use?

*Download the EONMED app. Open the app and fill credentials.
*Wash or sanitise your hands. Make sure they are dry before starting.
*Ensure kit is at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to use.
*Open the cap of the extraction tube. Place the funnel on the tube. Collect saliva into the tube till it reaches the caliberated mark.
*Close the cap and allow the sample to incubate for five minutes.
*Cover the tube with the attached nozzle cap and tighten the lid.
*Use the extraction tube to add three drops to the crescent. Set the timer for 15 minutes.

How to know the result?

*When the countdown is complete, capture the image using the app.
*The app will automatically analyse the results using artificial intelligence and generate the test certificate.

How to dispose?

Dispose the equipment using the bio-hazard bag.

How to test at home using AbCheck Rapid Antigen Self Test by Nulife Care, Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Test sample: Nasal

Test time: 1 minute

Result time: 15 minutes

How does it detect?

The device is designed to aid in the rapid differential diagnosis of COVID-19 Virus infection. This assay is intended to be used for screening patients with suspected COVID-19 Ag infection having symptoms of respiratory infections or immediate contact with confirmed positive cases. This assay utilises the chemical extraction of viral antigens followed by solidphase immunoassay technology for the detection of extracted antigen.

How to use?

*Open the “COVID Self-Check – Powered by Tata MD” App and fill-in the credentials.
*Open the pouch containing the test device.
*Scan the QR code on the cassette to link the code with your credentials.
*Wash your hands.
*Remove the screw cap from the top of the extraction vial containing the pre-filled extraction buffer.
*Place the swab into the extraction vial. Rotate the swab vigorously at least five times.
*Close the vial firmly by attaching the screw cap to the top of the extraction vial.
*Remove the swab by rotating against the extraction vial. Properly discard the swab.
*Mix thoroughly by flicking the bottom of the tube.
*Invert the extraction vial and hold the sample vertically above the sample well. Squeeze the vial gently. Allow 2 drops (about 80-100µl) sample to fall into the sample well.

How to read result?

*A clear pink control band (C) and a detectable test band (T) appears, indicating a positive result for Covid-19 infections.
*A pink coloured band appears only at the control region (C), indicating a negative result

What to keep in mind?

*A positive test should be considered as a true positive and does not need reconfirmation by the RT-PCR test.
*All positive individuals are advised to contact your doctor or local health department immediately and follow self-isolation & care as per the ICMR
and MoHFW.
*Symptomatic individuals identified negative by RAT but continue to have symptoms should be linked with RT-PCR test facility and subsequently get tested by RT-PCR
to rule out infection as a negative report on RAT may not be true negative in some cases.

How to dispose?

*Place the extraction tube containing swab and test device into the disposal bag.
*Seal the disposal bag and dispose the bag in a waste bin.
*Disinfect all the surface that the specimen may have touched, and wash your hands after disposal.
*Discard as per the guidelines for Handling Treatment and Disposal of Waste Generated during treatment/ Diagnosis/Quarantine of Covid-19 patients issued by Central Pollution Control Board.

How to test at home using OmiSure test kit by Tata Medical and Diagnostics

Test time: 85 minutes

Result time: 130 minutes, including sample collection and RNA extraction

What does it detect?

Currently, Omicron patients are detected only after genome sequencing. The OmiSure test kit helps to eliminate this step and detects the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV2 in the nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal specimens during the RT-PCR tests.

Yet to be available in the market but is likely to be priced at Rs 250. The antigen tests are priced anywhere between Rs 250-Rs 500.

📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss out on the latest updates!

📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

For all the latest Lifestyle News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement