New saline gargle RT-PCR Covid test launched: Self-test, result in 3 hours | All you need to know
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has come up with a do-it-yourself version of the RT-PCR test in which the results can be obtained in three hours. There is no swab involved in the process and it has already been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research. Union health minister Dr harsh Vardhan said this is a remarkable innovation, which will increase the ease and the speed of Covid-19 testing in the country. "This swab-free, non-invasive testing mechanism could prove to be a game-changer," he said.
Here is all you need to know about this new test:
1. The test has been developed by the scientists of Nagpur's National Environment Engineering Research Institute.
2. Since one can do the test without needing any lab staff, it will be helpful in rural and tribal areas. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation has given a go-ahead to this test.
3. The test kit comes with a tube containing saline. One has to put that liquid in the mouth and gargle for 15 seconds. Then one has to spit the liquid in the tube and send it for testing.
4. When the sample comes to the lab, it is mixed with a buffer, developed by NEERI scientists, and kept for 30 minutes at room temperature. Then the liquid is heated up at 98 degree for six minutes to extract RNA for the RT-PCR test, senior scientist Dr Krishna Khairnar said.
5. The result can be given in three hours.
6. This testing technique will be shared with other testing labs in the country, Dr Khairnar said, now that it has got ICMR approval.
RT-PCR testing is considered to be the gold standard of Covid testing but during the peak of the second wave in April, people had to wait longer than usual for RT-PCR results as labs were overburdened. The Centre at that time asked states and Union territories to focus on rapid antigen tests.