Amid the rise in number of people infected with the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, the world is bracing up with stricter Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions. Taking lessons from the last wave which wreaked havoc in India, it is evident that our healthcare infrastructure gets overwhelmed under such circumstances.
Rapid testing is one of the keys to curb the spread of the virus. But as seeking a test at a health facility can make you more prone to the virus, using home test kits should be preferred. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has till date approved 12 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits that one can easily use at home.
However, it must be noted that one should be extremely careful while handling such kits and follow the instructions with caution. The disposal of the swab and other components of the test kit must be done properly to avoid inadvertently spreading the infection.
Following are some step by step instructions that one must keep in mind while using any of the COVID-19 self-testing kits –
Step 1:Sanitize the place where you are going to perform the test.
Step 2: Clean and sanitize the packet of the testing kit that you are using.
Step 3: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and then place the contents of the kit on a sanitized surface.
Step 4: Depending upon the kit you are using, download the required app and fill all the necessary details.
Step 5: Read the ‘Information For Use’ manual given with the test kit and follow the step-to-step instructions as guided.
Step 6: After following the test procedure, note the indications on the test kit and use the mobile app to check if you are infected or not.
Step 7: Place the test kits along with all its components in a disposal bag and dump it in the waste bin.
Step 8: People testing positive are advised to follow home isolation and care as per the ICMR and the Health Ministry protocol. Whereas, symptomatic people who tested negative must take an RTPCR test and follow home isolation protocol.
One can visit the official website of the ICMR to view the list of RAT self-test kits approved by it or for more information regarding the tests and their procedure.