Rapid self-testing to safely navigate the festive season

With the upcoming festive season, it’s time to explore your options for self-testing as a way to restore everyday life.

Diagnostics|Feb.09, 2022

It's been one and a half years since the announcement of the first lockdown in India; we've all been wondering what's next and what our lives will look like beyond the second wave.

The first wave of the pandemic lasted from March 2020 to September 2020, and the second wave started in March 2021. Patients and frontline workers globally were vulnerable, exposed, and dependent on a strained healthcare system to deal with a massive pandemic.

Despite all of it, the healthcare system eventually picked up pace, educated, and empowered us to better maneuver the pandemic with advancements in health technology.

How to stay safe at festivals?
As we progress towards the new-normal and with the festive season upon us, innovative ways to manage potential exposure are needed now more than ever. People are out shopping, redoing their homes, hosting guests, and, in general, are socialising more. It's a time to be with friends and family; everyone looks forward to celebrating this time together, which is all the more reason to follow festival safety tips and COVID-19 protocols to ensure a safe environment for everyone involved.

It is crucial to follow the general protocol of sanitizing, meeting in smaller groups, and maintaining appropriate distancing. Another essential aspect is testing, and the rather recent arrival of self-test kits are just the thing we need. In response to the trying times, rapid innovation in healthcare has added this tool to our COVID-19 arsenal. Regular rapid COVID-19 antigen self-testing during these festive times will bring a better sense of safety and confidence.

How do self-test kits work?
A rapid antigen self-test is used to detect both asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19. Self-Test kits can be bought from your local chemist and online stores. It is available over the counter and does not require a prescription. The self-test is indicated for children as young as two years old when an adult collects samples and for all people 15 and older.

The test uses the minimally invasive, more comfortable nasal swab (not the deep nasopharyngeal swab that may cause people some discomfort).

An easy-to-use 15-minute test can detect COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic people in your own home, on your own time.

The test is for self-use when people test themselves twice within three days, with 36 hours between the two tests. The test will be simple, even for people who have never tried it themselves. All needed materials (including a nasal swab and easy-to-follow instructions) are included in the box.

The way ahead for self-reliance
The simplicity and convenience of the rapid COVID-19 antigen self-test can go a long way to ensure the health and safety of those around you. Since the test works for symptomatic, asymptomatic people as well as the delta-variant, you won't have to wonder or guess as the quick result may offer a sigh of relief (for a negative test) and put you on track for the correct course of action (for a positive test).

Following standard protocols like sanitizing, social distancing, regular testing, and vaccinations together are our safest bet to ensure the festivities remain unfettered, and we can get a step closer to restoring everyday life.

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Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is for awareness and education. Please consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before self-testing and diagnosing.

Follow advisory, guidance from local authorities on COVID-19

Self-test kit for screening purposes only.

Results should not be considered final.

All symptomatic individuals who test negative by RAT should immediately get tested by RTPCR and follow the ICMR/MoH&FW home isolation protocol while awaiting the RT PCR test result. Also, follow advisory/guidance from local authorities on appropriate Covid-19 behavior.