As India brought out a Covid self-test kit, pandemic management may turn more efficient in the short future. I’m feeling especially positive as I tweeted on April 25 about the necessity of such a self-test kit for Covid detection to facilitate easier pandemic management reducing the burden on the healthcare system to a considerable extent.
Being basically from a Pharmaceutical Engineering background, I tweeted humble thoughts to Hon’ble Health Minister of India Dr. Harshvardhan, Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi, and Indian Pharma Corporates like Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech & all renowned others of the industry. The suggestion was if we could devise a self-use test of the nasal swab for Covid just as we have card test for Pregnancy. Self-tests could be used by the people themselves as a routine daily process during each upsurge period of Covid (just as Diabetics regularly check their blood sugar by strip tests & may keep sugar-level fluctuations under control). The idea was— on an everyday nasal swab self-test, patients would be able to detect the presence of Covid virus in his/her body at the earliest & hence, may move for self-isolation thereafter to avail complete bed rest following prescribed SOP of Covid treatment under online medical guidance.
Studies of case histories & personal experience (as I personally suffered & recovered from Covid at Home quarantine) suggest there remains a few days gap between a person gets infected by the Covid virus & starts showing symptoms. The initial few days of his/her being Covid Positive often remain asymptomatic till initial symptoms begin to show. Initial symptoms too often be mild like a bit of sore throat and/or cough and/or a bit of feverish and/or head reeling. Many people tend to ignore such mild symptoms & continue to indulge in the usual daily work routine till symptoms aggravate & he/she rushes being scared to medical care centres/hospitals. If Covid is intervened at the earliest opportunity due to earliest detection through self-test, a significant reduction in Oxygen & ventilation requirement is highly probable reducing Burden on health infrastructure & healthcare personnel.
Following opinions of eminent physicians it becomes apparent that a significant proportion of complicated Covid cases turn serious & morbid due to undue delay in initiation of basic treatment SOP. On the other hand, many patients ran towards Covid hospitals the moment they felt feverish or breathlessness where they got detected Covid negative. Many such patients, however, turned Covid Positive after they got released from the Hospital. In such cases, isn’t it difficult to say whether the patient got infected from the Hospital itself where he visited on the first opportunity? Self-test kit of Covid seems to have potential to reduce both such types of aggravation of the novel viral infection. Thus, self-Covid-test kit, if delivers accurate results with precision, has potential to be a breakthrough in overall Covid management. Using it once a day as a routine would ensure earliest detection & might result in faster cure of the viral infection minimizing Hospitalization to a great extent.