INDIA – Healthcare major Abbott has launched COVID-19 home test kit in India for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in adults and children with or without symptoms.

Abbott 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 in an effort to help facilitate the return to work and school program across India.

The rollout of the product took place on the same day in India as it did in Singapore and affiliates of Abbot are expected to get product to about 5000 chemists and 5 million pharmacies across India.

PanBio Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test is easy-to-use, Abbott said. “People can take the test by using a simple nasal swab (not the deep nasopharyngeal swab) while following the Instructions for Use steps on pack. For children younger than 14 years, an adult caretaker should help collect the nasal samples and conduct the test procedures. The kit contains all the materials required including nasal swabs, test devices and reagent ampules. No additional instrumentation is required to conduct the test,” it explained.

The results come in 15 minutes, and the test is to be used along with Abbott’s NAVICA mobile app.

NAVICA mobile app offers a process of self-registration, automatic reading of results and reporting as per Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines.

Since last August to date, Abbott has shipped 300 million PanBio Covid-19 Antigen Rapid tests for professional use in more than 100 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.

In India, the self-test kit will help the Indian ministry of health sustain its deprived system owing to the large number of COVID cases in the state.

The state has also launched a new laboratory centre with the capacity to conduct more than 60000 sample testing per month, courtesy of Metropolis Healthcare.

During the launch, Dr. Ramesh Kumar, Chief of Laboratory at Metropolis Kerala, said, “The lab launch comes at an important time as the city witnesses new cases being recorded every day. The lab will have RT-PCR testing along with a variety of other complex molecular tests for which we will also offer support on report interpretation and analysis from our doctors.”

India currently has a tally of 30,874,376 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 408,764 deaths as reported by the WHO. On a lighter note, a total of 357,553,612 vaccine doses have been administered.