How to use the Coviself, a home test kit for COVID

Think how great it would be if we could test for the coronavirus all by ourselves. It would reduce the pressure on the government or the entire healthcare system in general if we could do that. This has recently been made possible, according to the Times of India. The kit developed is termed “Coviself.” It has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Though the tests might at times give false results due to a lower viral load since it is less sensitive, yet these rapid antigen test (RAT) kits are handy in such times in India. Such kits have been in use in developed countries like the US and the Uk and have now been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to be sold in the market for 250 rupees each.

How to use the Coviself?

An app named Mylab Coviself needs to be downloaded before using the kit. The nasal swab provided in the kit needs to be inserted up to 2-4 cms in both the nostrils and rolled for 4-5 times and then immersed in the prefilled tube, followed by closing the tube’s cap. This liquid is then added (2-3 drops) on the testing card, followed by a wait of 15 minutes, by which time the card gives the result. Now the card reading needs to be made. The card has two sections, the control section, and the test section. The test result would be negative if a bar is shown in the control section but would be positive if shown in both sections. A photo of this card needs to be taken using the same phone with the Mylab Coviself app, thus allowing the app to transfer the data directly to the ICMR COVID testing portal.

A boon?

Now, this might help reduce the burden on the system and save costly private rtPCR tests, thus helping the population in ways. These will soon be out in the market and might be another weapon against the COVID pretty soon.

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