Rapid Antigen Tests for coronavirus should be conducted in large numbers as it gives results quickly, which will in turn help in isolating patients during early stages of the disease, Dr Balram Bhargava said on Thursday.
Addressing a briefing on the coronavirus situation in the country, the ICMR chief said that the government is targeting 2.5 million tests by the end of this month and 4.5 million tests by the end of June.
Dr Bhargava further said he expects home testing kit to be available within three-four days and three more companies are expected to launch self testing kits for coronavirus.
Mylab Discovery Solutions has won approval for India’s first self-use rapid test. The Pune-based company’s CoviSelf test can be used by symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts. It costs Rs 250 per kit and gives results in 15 minutes.
MyLab has said the test will be available for use next week in more than 700,000 pharmacies across India.
Explaining the process of how to use the test kit, the ICMR chief said: “Step 1 is that you buy the test kit from a chemist; Step 2- download mobile app; Step 3- conduct the test at home; step 4- click mobile image and upload, test result will be given. Within 3-4 days this should be available in the market.”
MyLab’s self-use kit will cost Rs 250 and will be available for purchase at all major pharmacies without a prescription.