India's first indigenous home-based coronavirus disease (Covid-19) rapid testing kit that detects the virus within 15 minutes has been commercially launched, and will be available at chemist shops across the country in the next two-three days, its maker, Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions Ltd, announced on Thursday.
The kit is called CoviSelf, and costs Rs250 per unit.
"Mylab Discovery Solutions…. announces the commercial launch of its Covid-19 self-test kit, CoviSelf, after receiving approval from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). It is the first test kit for Covid-19 that can be self-administered by citizens at home, in India. This indigenous test kit will be distributed through to 95% of the PIN codes in the county and will be available over-the-counter at pharmacies and drugstores across India," the company said in a statement.
On May 19, ICMR allowed the home-based rapid antigen test (RAT) to detect Covid-19 to be sold commercially. It can be administered much like the home-based pregnancy test kits.
Individuals can also order the test kit online through some e-commerce platforms.
The company will roll out 1 million self-test kits starting Thursday, and based on consumer demand, it will make 7 million units available per week. According to the company, the product should be available in retail within 2-3 days. The company plans to make the products available on the government e-marketplace (GEM).
The kit can be used by individuals with or without symptoms and immediate contacts of confirmed patients, as per the ICMR guidelines. Designed as the mid-nasal swab test, it can detect the virus in just 15 minutes. Each unit contains a testing kit, instructions leaflet and a bag to safely dispose of the used contents after testing. One kit can perform one test.
"Self-testing should slow down the spread of Covid-19 significantly. We aim to make CoviSelf available across the country, especially for people in rural areas who have limited options for testing," said Hasmukh Rawal, managing director of Mylab Discovery Solutions.