Bhubaneswar: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved COVID-19 Home Testing using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and issued advisory in this regard.
* 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.
* The home testing mobile app is available in Google play store and Apple store and must be downloaded by all users.
* The mobile 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 which 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.
* All test positive individuals are advised to follow home isolation and care as per the ICMR & Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) protocol which can be accessed at: https://www.icmr.gov.in/chomecare.html.
* All 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 and are advised to follow the ICMR/MoH&FW home isolation protocol while awaiting the RT-PCR test result.
* All results may be interpreted as per the protocol laid down by the manufacturer in the user manual.
* Manufacturer’s instructions must be strictly followed for disposal of the test kit, swab and other materials.
ICMR has approved the following Kit for Home Testing: