Saline Gargle RT-PCR Covid Testing: What is the New ICMR-Approved DIY Method | EXPLAINER

·2-min read

A new easy-to-perform procedure of Covid-19 testing has been developed by the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

The innovative patient-friendly ‘Saline Gargle RT-PCR Method‘ for coronavirus testing can get results in three hours.

Dr. Krishna Khairnar, Senior Scientist, and his team at NEERI said it hopes this patient-friendly method is implemented at national level to strengthen our battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

All you need to know about the Saline Gargle RT-PCR Method:

1. Unlike the regular RT-PCR swab tests, no samples will be collected from the nose and throat.

2. A skilled healthcare worker is not required to collect the sample.

3. Enables self-sampling.

4. Faster procedure

5. No RNA extraction kit is required.

6. Suitable for rural and tribal areas.

“The Saline Gargle RT-PCR method is instant, comfortable and patient-friendly. Sampling is done instantly and results will be generated within 3 hours,” Dr Khairnar said.

How to use the Saline Gargle RT-PCR Method:

The Government of India through its official handle for Covid-19 news tweeted a video of Dr Khairnar where he explained how an individual can collect his or her samples. To conduct the test, the method uses a simple collection tube filled with saline solution.

The Saline Gargle RT-PCR method requires the person taking the test needs to gargle the solution for 15 seconds and rinse it inside the tube. Then, the sample in the collection tube is taken to the laboratory and is kept at room temperature, in a special buffer solution prepared by NEERIs, and kept for 30 minutes at room temperature.

The liquid is then heated up at 98 degree for six minutes to extract RNA for the RT-PCR test, Dr Khairnar said.

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