The ICMR or Indian Council of Medical Research has recently granted permission for a COVID-19 self-sampling kit. The newly discovered method is known as Saline Gargle RT-PCR. Saline Gargle RT-PCR allows for the easy collection of samples for the COVID-19 test at home. National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, also known as NEERI scientists, developed the Saline Gargle COVID Testing method under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
It has been estimated that saline Gargle samples can generate results in just three hours! Hence, it is a patient-friendly and quick method to collect samples for the COVID-19 test at home. Since the Saline Gargle RT-PCR test requires no health professional for sample collection, it becomes easy to collect samples in rural and tribal areas. Furthermore, the Saline Gargle COVID-19 test method does not use swabs. This method is non-invasive, easy and convenient. Hence, it is more comfortable for people than nose and throat swab tests.
The commonly used Swab test
The most common sampling method for COVID-19 is the swab test. The medical professional will extract RNA samples from the nose or throat swab sample. Then the extracted RNA sample is tested for the presence of the COVID-19 virus. The swab test method is expensive because it requires a trained medical professional to collect the swab sample, extract RNA samples for the test. In addition, the swab test requires a timeframe of four hours to generate the COVID-19 test results. Thus, the swab test method takes time.
Furthermore, the swab test uses a swab inserted into the patient’s nose or throat to collect the sample for RT-PCR. It might become uncomfortable for the patients during the collection of samples for the COVID-19 test.
An overview of the Saline Gargle RT-PCR COVID-19 test method
The Saline Gargle RT-PCR method uses only a saline solution-filled tube. To test oneself for the COVID-19 infection:
- The person is required to gargle with the saline solution for 15 seconds, rinse the mouth with the same solution for another 15 seconds and then spit it inside the tube.
- The sample in the tube is taken to the collection centre or laboratory. Here, it is kept at room temperature in a particular buffer solution. The unique buffer solution used is prepared by NEERI or National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.
- The solution is then heated and the solution produces an RNA template. The obtained RNA template is further processed for RT-PCR or Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction.
Hence, the Saline Gargle RT-PCR method is much less expensive and convenient than the standard nasopharyngeal (nose) and oropharyngeal (throat) swab test done at the COVID testing centres.
Advantages of the Saline Test
The advantages of the Saline Gargle RT-PCR COVID Self test kit are as follows:
- No nose and throat swab collection – The Saline Gargle RT-PCR method does not use the swab collection technique. You can do it by using only a tube filled with saline gargle solution.
- Cost-saving – As the saline gargle COVID testing method does not require the presence of a medical professional for sample collection, it helps save money. Furthermore, it allows people to practice self-sampling.
- Quick results – Recently, the testing labs were overburdened during the second wave of the novel coronavirus infection in April. But the saline gargle RT-PCR COVID testing method can save a lot of time. This method can generate COVID-19 results in just 3 hours. Hence, the Saline Gargle sampling just like the COVID self-test kit has provided momentum to COVID testing in India.
- There is no need for an RNA extraction kit – The Saline Gargle RT-PCR method does not require an RNA extraction kit.
- Wider reach – The Saline Gargle RT-PCR method is particularly advantageous for people living in rural areas and tribal people. This test can be done at home and does not require medical expertise.
- Non-invasive Nature – The saline gargle RT PCR method is not an invasive and comfortable method of sample collection.
The Saline Gargle RT-PCR COVID testing method is productive concerning its cost. The saline gargle COVID-19 test method can prove beneficial in reducing the burden imposed on COVID Testing laboratories. This method can be very useful and desirable for people who did not have quick access to the testing centres, for example, people living in rural and tribal areas.
In addition, the Saline Gargle RT-PCR COVID testing method is also straightforward to do and does not require proper medical knowledge. In addition, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation has granted permission to NEERI to use the saline gargle RT PCR test method.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.