Updated 6 September 2021
In India, amidst fears of an imminent third wave, the government is actively ramping up testing centres across the country. In addition to the existing COVID-19 tests being conducted in state-owned health facilities and numerous private labs and test facilities offering test services for the general public, several COVID-19 test providers are offering simple and easy testing methods available at the comfort of your home.
Keep reading to find more about self-test kits and home testing options available right now.
Who can use COVID-19 rapid self test kits?
If you need to be tested for COVID-19 and can’t get tested by a healthcare provider, you can consider using a COVID-19 self-test kit easily available right now that can be performed at home or anywhere else.
These self-tests can be used by anyone who is symptomatic regardless of their vaccination status. Unvaccinated persons with no COVID-19 symptoms can also use self-tests, especially if they were potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you test positive, you should isolate yourself and inform any close contacts.
Most self-COVID tests authorized for use in India are a form of antigen testing that tells you about your COVID status (whether positive or negative) quickly.
Having explained the benefits, it’s important to remember that there can be chances of getting false positives and negatives with any test. With antigen tests, the likelihood of getting false negatives can be slightly higher and make it less effective or trustable than gold-standard PCR tests.
How to use them?
You will have to follow all instructions as prescribed by the manufacturers for performing the test. Mylab and Abbott are two prominent self-test kits providers in the country. Keep reading to know more about them.
Mylab test kit
Mylab CoviSelf COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self Test Kit is designed to assist you in taking a safe, rapid antigen test quickly at the comfort of your home. This ICMR-approved test kit lets you get COVID-19 tested in just 15-20 minutes and is authorized for non-prescription self-testing at home.
You can follow these simple steps to get tested with the Mylab self-test kit:
- Take out the sterile nasal swab.
- Roll swabs inside both nostrils five times each.
- Insert the swab into the bottle containing the solution.
- Give the swab around ten good swirls inside the solution and break off the excess.
- Cap the bottle with the attached nozzle and shake it well.
- Take the test card and add two drops of the solution to the test well.
Panbio Antigen Test Kit from Abbott
Healthcare giant Abbott has launched its very own home test kit in India for the detection of COVID-19 in adults and children with or without symptoms at a price of Ps 325 for a single test kit pack.
In alignment with the current ICMR advisory on self-use, these tests will be made available to ramp up testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals and contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases, the company has announced.
The Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test gives test results in just 15 minutes. Once you add your nasal swab solution to the test well, if you find:
- Red Stripe on C: You have tested negative
- Red Stripe on C and T: You have tested positive
- Red Stripe Only on T or No Stripes: Redo Test
You can get the test kit from most pharmacies and shopping sites such as Amazon.
Other home testing services
If you want to get tested for coronavirus without having to leave home, you can opt for an at-home collection facility for COVID testing with prior booking. Trained health officials arrive, clad in PPE, and collect the samples, ensuring minimum contact all the while.