In a first, Covid-19 home test kits in India have been launched on Monday by healthcare giant Abbott for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 in adults and children.
A single test kit pack is priced at Rs. 325.
CoviShelf was the first home test kit has been developed by MyLab Discovery Solutions, a Pune-based molecular company that received its approval from Indian Council Medical Research.
“The company will deliver millions of Panbio COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, available for self-use, to ease the burden on healthcare systems in urban and rural India”, Abbott said in a statement.
In alignment with the current ICMR advisory on self-use, these tests will be made available to ramp up testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals and contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases, it added.
“Scaling access to easy, accurate, and fast testing can speed up the country’s preparedness and curb community contagion,” ICMR former Director-General Nirmal Kumar Ganguly said.
Self-testing at home empowers individuals with the ability to carry out the first line of protection against disease transmission, he added.
In India, Abbott will offer self-tests for use at home, assisted professional testing at the point of care and laboratories, as well as workplace testing to help enable a sense of normalcy in returning to places of employment, the company said.
“Rapid antigen testing is critical in the fight against COVID-19 and Abbott is delivering a variety of diagnostics options at a critical juncture in the pandemic,” Divisional vice president of Abbott’s rapid diagnostics business in the Asia Pacific, Sanjeev Johar said.
Self-testing is a proven tool that provides an added layer of defense along with public health protocols and the vaccine rollout, he added.
“By the end of July, we plan to deliver 7 million test kits in our first phase and have the capacity to bring millions of more test kits to support the country’s needs. With an extensive global supply network and manufacturing capabilities, Abbott will also be able to scale up manufacturing as needed to meet the testing needs of India,” Abbott said.
A single-test kit pack Abbott Panbio COVID-19 antigen self-test is priced at Rs 325; pack of 4 at Rs 1,250, pack of 10 at Rs 2,800, and pack of 20 at Rs 5,400, it added.
“The test kits will be made available pan-India, reaching urban and rural regions of the country via both online and offline distribution channels. Our aim is to maximise availability and we aim to reach more than 80 percent of India’s population,” Abbott said.