Coronavirus self-assessment: Can I test myself for Coronavirus at home?
With an unprecedented rise in Covid-19 cases all around, testing yourself is the only way to ascertain whether you have been infected with the virus. It eliminates your fear and anxiety associated with the disease. To curb its spread amongst family & loved ones, get yourself tested on time & isolate if infected with disease. Due to limited testing capacity, at both Government & private labs, the turnaround time is challenging factor. Test results today are readily available within a day or two in Tier 2 cities and towns. The need for coronavirus self-testing is growing by the day, and the benefit is you can do so from the comfort of your home.
How does a coronavirus self-checker work?
Start by asking yourself the following questions to see if you need to get yourself tested:
- Where did you travel recently?
- Have you been in contact with someone who tested positive recently?
- Do you have any symptoms of the disease?
- Have you maintained Covid-19 protocols while stepping out?
To put yourself at ease, from all the doubts – better to have self assessment test
If the answers to any of these questions leads to self-doubt, ease your mind with the coronavirus self-assessment test. Earlier, you depended on the government-owned or private labs for testing yourself or sought home-testing. Today, you can use a DIY test kit for the same.
DIY rapid antigen test
One of the most effective ways to carry out Coronavirus self-testing is to undertake a DIY rapid antigen test. These tests detect the viral proteins found in the nasal swab of a person thought to be infected by the virus.
DIY rapid antigen tests are available in medical stores, e-medical stores, and e-commerce websites. You can perform them anywhere. They do not require any medical knowledge and can be done by anyone above the age of 18 years. For children between two years to 18 years, an adult can administer the test using the kit.
The test shows results for both asymptomatic as well as symptomatic Covid-19 patients. The test is minimally invasive and causes some minor discomfort when compared to the regular RT-PCR test. You will get the results within 15 minutes though.
How does one conduct the process?
Anyone can conduct the DIY rapid antigen tests within the comforts of their home by following these steps:
STEP 1: Read all the instructions carefully
STEP 2: Wash your hands thoroughly before beginning the test
STEP 3: Ensure that your surroundings, like the table and chair that you are carrying the test on, are clean
STEP 4: Open the test kit and arrange all the contents of it in a careful and systematic manner
STEP 4: Collect a swab sample from your nose and carry on with the test by following the instructions mentioned on your kit. Insert the nasal swabs two to four centimetres (cms) into your nose. Slowly rotate the swab and rub it on the insides of your nasal passage at least five times.
Utilise the same swab and repeat in the other nostril as well. Then, dip the nasal swab in the solution that comes with the kit, squeeze four drops of the solution on the test device, and wait for 15 minutes for your result.
How to read the results?
Positive Result: When the line ‘C’ and the line ‘T’ reflects, the result is positive. There is no need to panic though. Contact a doctor, hospital or helpline directly for guidance on the next steps.
Negative result: If you see only line ‘C’ and no line ‘T’, it means the results are negative. This indicates you do not have the virus. But if you still experience the symptoms, consult a doctor for the best treatment.
Invalid result: When the line ‘C’ is invisible, the result is invalid. The visibility of line ‘T’ is irrelevant. If there is no result after 15 minutes, then the test is also invalid.
Meril offers a handy Covid-19 self-testing kit in India called Covifind. This has been approved for use by the Indian Council of Medical Research. Powered by AI, this kit is highly reliable and can provide results in a short time-frame making it an invaluable tool in the fight against the pandemic.
In tandem with the mobile app that collects your details and provides guided instructions, it can help you even if you are located in the most remote regions in the country. The app is available for download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The coronavirus self-checker reduces the mental burden we are all under in terms of coping with the pandemic. If asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic sufferers are able to identify their symptoms and stay at home to treat themselves and prevent further spreading of the disease, it would help relieve the burden on front-line workers around the world who have been on-the-job for over a year trying to tackle this disease. If we are to overcome this pandemic, the fight may need to start and end at home!