ICMR approves Meril’s Covid-19 self-testing kit
New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday granted approval to global medtech company Meril Diagnostics for its self-use rapid antigen test for Covid-19 that can provide accurate results in just 15 minutes.
CoviFind is highly effective in individuals with mid to high viral load, especially in detecting infection in the case of individuals more likely to transmit the disease to others.
“This indigenously researched and developed test can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus reliably in infectious individuals and can, therefore, be used for testing symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases as specified by recent ICMR guidelines,” the company said in a statement.
CoviFind test is priced at Rs 250 and will be made available as an affordable single-pack, with additional purchase options including a pack of 3, 5, and 25 tests. Each test kit is equipped with testing materials including a test device, one sterile nasal swab and a pre-filled buffer tube with a cap.
The test does not have any specific storage or refrigeration requirements. The kit also contains an instructions manual, detailing step-by-step procedure on administration, handling and post-use disposal of the test, along with a disposable bag.
Further, Meril’s nasal swab also reduces discomfort, improving testing compliance. The CoviFind nasal swabs have to be inserted only 2 to 4 centimetres (cms) into a patient’s nose, as compared to the commonly-used nasopharyngeal swab that needs to be inserted 8 to 10 cms into the nose.
The self-use test is to be used alongside the company’s official home testing mobile application, ‘CoviFind App,’ which will be available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store after the commercial rollout of CoviFind.
The test will be available in two weeks at retail pharmacies, e-pharmacies and through e-commerce platforms including Amazon and Flipkart.
The Gujarat-based company will also run a dedicated website for direct orders of the test kit by individuals and institutions. A special 25-test kit option is available for institutions, corporations, schools and other large orders.
“By making reliable rapid antigen testing available to all through a convenient format, Meril’s CoviFind test will facilitate early detection, isolation, treatment and contact tracing. This will limit the spread of infections, contributing to the nation’s ongoing efforts to quell the second wave of the pandemic. We are committed to producing our indigenously developed self-use test in high volumes to support India’s testing needs,” Merill’s Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Sanjeev Bhatt, said in the statement.
Meril has supplied a large number of tests across its Covid-19 diagnostics offerings pan-India, which span a multiplex RT-PCR test, KAVACH antibody tests in partnership with the ICMR.