ICMR advises against indiscriminate COVID-19 home testing using RAT kit

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New Delhi, May 19 (PTI) The ICMR Wednesday advised against indiscriminate COVID-19 home testing using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), saying it should be used only on symptomatic individuals and on the immediate contacts of laboratory confirmed positive cases.

All individuals who test positive through the RAT kit may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required, the Indian Council of Medical Research said in an advisory.

'Home testing by RAT is advised only in symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of laboratory confirmed positive cases. Indiscriminate testing is not advised,' the county's apex health research body said.

'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/Ministry of Health home isolation protocol while awaiting the RT-PCR test result,' the advisory stated.

Home testing should be conducted as per the procedure described by the manufacturer in the user manual.

The ICMR said 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,' the advisory underlined.

Presently, CoviSelfTM(PathoCatch) COVID-19 OTC Antigen LF device manufactured by Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd., Pune (Maharashtra), India has been validated and approved, the apex health research body said. PTI PLB TIR TIR

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