A do-it-yourself version of the RT-PCR test in which one has to simply gargle for testing the presence of coronavirus has been developed by scientists. It is being considered a major breakthrough in tackling the spread of the virus since the results can be obtained in three hours and no swab collection is involved in the process.
Scientists from Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have come up with a 'saline gargle RTC-PCR method' for testing COVID-19. It has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), reported Hindustan Times.
Krishna Kharinar, Senior Scientist, Environmental Virology Cell, NEERI , told Hindu Businessline that one has to gargle the saline solution for 15 seconds that will be provided in a testing tube. Then spit the solution in the tube and send it for testing. The sample will be taken to the laboratory where it will be kept at room temperature for about 30 minutes in a special buffer solution prepared by NEERI. An RNA template will be produced when this solution is heated and then processed for RT-PCR.
Kharinar pointed out that the method is non-invasive, environmentally friendly, and simple. He also added that this method will help in rural areas and in places that have lack proper infrastructure.