India has approved a new method for COVID-19 testing. The new saline gargle RT-PCR test promises cheap and simpler testing. Currently, there are two prominent testing methods in India. Firstly, the RT-PCR test. And secondly, the Rapid Antigen test. However, a few days back self-testing was also introduced in India. CoviSelf, a self-testing kit for COVID-19 was announced.
The New Saline Gargle RT-PCR Testing Method
ICMR has approved the saline gargle RT-PCR test. It is authentic, cheap, and simple. Moreover, it promises to give results just in 3 hours. The scientist at Nagpur-based Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) has come up with a new testing method. They have achieved this milestone under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Both these institutions were working on developing a non-invasive RT-PCR method. ICMR has given a green signal to this new testing method. Hopefully, it will get implemented soon. Neeri will send out its teams to train laboratories across the country in the new method.
What is the Testing Process?
It is a very simple and quick process. The saline gargle RT-PCR test process is hassle-free. Moreover, it gives authentic results.
- The patient has to gargle with a saline solution.
- Then, he/she has to spit the solution in a sample collection tube.
- This sample is now taken to a laboratory where it is kept at room temperature. It is kept in a special buffer solution. Neeri has prepared the buffer solution as well.
- An RNA template is produced when this solution is heated.
- This solution is then processed for RT-PCR.
The Method is Simple, Cheap, and Accurate
Neeri scientists at Neeri have called the method extremely cheap. It saves the otherwise costly infrastructure required for RNA extraction. This method allows self-sampling. Henceforth, people can also test themselves. It requires no crowding or queueing at the testing centers. The saline gargle RT-PCR test saves a lot of time and effort. Besides that, it also reduces waste accumulation.
The nose and throat swab collection methods are time-consuming. Since it is an invasive technique, some patients find it uncomfortable. On the other hand, this new method is non-invasive. Therefore, patients won’t find it uncomfortable. Sampling is done instantly. The results are given in three hours. Henceforth, it is environment-friendly as waste generation is minimized. The saline gargle RT-PCR test is best for rural areas.