COVID-19 At-Home Test

COVID-19 At Home Test
COVID-19 At-Home Test kit handling procedure
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An aid in identifying individuals infected by SARS-CoV-21


The COVID-19 At-Home Test is an immunochromatography test for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen in human nasal samples. 

This test is used to detect antigens of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in individuals with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 and is designed as a self test for the general public. It is an in vitro diagnostic medical device.

SARS-CoV-2: An overview of virus structure, transmission and detection


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus of the family Coronaviridae. Coronaviruses share structural similarities and are composed of 16 nonstructural proteins and 4 structural proteins: spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N). Coronaviruses cause diseases with symptoms ranging from those of a mild common cold to more severe ones such as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2.2,3

SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted from person-to-person primarily via respiratory droplets, while indirect transmission through contaminated surfaces is also possible.4-7 The virus accesses host cells via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which is most abundant in the lungs.8,9

The incubation period for COVID-19 ranges from 2 - 14 days following exposure, with most cases showing symptoms approximately 4 - 5 days after exposure.4,10,11 The spectrum of symptomatic infection ranges from mild (fever, cough, fatigue, loss of smell and taste, shortness of breath) to critical.12,13 While most symptomatic cases are not severe, severe illness occurs predominantly in adults with advanced age or underlying medical comorbidities and requires intensive care. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a major complication in patients with severe disease. Critical cases are characterized by e.g., respiratory failure, shock and/or multiple organ dysfunction, or failure.12,14,15

Coronavirus illustration
  • Nucleocapsid protein (N)
  • Envelope protein (E)
  • Spike protein (S)
  • Membrane glycoprotein (M)
  • RNA

The benefit of having a COVID-19 At-Home Test available


The SARS-CoV-2 virus causes respiratory tract infection. It is transmitted mainly via respiratory droplets after close contact, and primary viral replication is presumed to occur in mucosal epithelium of the upper respiratory tract (nasal cavity and pharynx).2 At these locations viral load peaks within the first week after symptom onset, and then declines.3

A COVID-19 At-Home Test detects the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from part of the upper respiratory tract swab specimens by identifying specific antigens that are carried by the virus. The test identifies current infection during the acute phase of COVID-19, while the virus is still present in large quantities in the respiratory tract.

At Roche Diagnostics we believe wide accessibility to such simple, convenient, fast and  instrument-free tests can contribute significantly to better managing the ongoing pandemic crisis.

The key benefits of the COVID-19 At Home Test

The benefits for society, healthcare systems and workers:

  • Testing is possible everywhere: Decentralized testing minimizes the possibility of exposure of healthcare workers to potentially infected individuals while protecting healthcare capacity and reducing burden on molecular testing labs

The benefits for the general public:

  • Reliable answers: High test quality.
  • Quick results: Faster results compared to laboratory testing.
  • Easy repetitive testing: No need to visit a healthcare professional or schedule an appointment.
  • Easy handling procedure: Reduced handling errors and waste.
  • Increased user protection: Virus neutralization by extraction buffer.
  • Peace of mind: Worrying symptoms can be put into perspective.

Testing the quick and easy way


Testing process for the COVID-19 At Home Test1

Make sure to follow the steps below carefully

Make sure to follow the steps below carefully

Always read the Instructions for Use carefully.1

Always adhere to ICMR Guidelines.16

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap before testing.
  • Scan the QR Code on the package to download the App and fill in your basic details
  • Perform the test immediately after opening the cassette package.
For detailed information please refer to the COVID-19 At Home Test Kit Pack Insert.1

Always read the Instructions for Use carefully.1

Always adhere to ICMR Guidelines.16

  • Open the extraction buffer tube & nozzle cap pouch. Remove the lid of the extraction buffer tube. Place the extraction buffer tube into the extraction buffer tube holder in the package.
  • Open the sterile swab pouch and take it out.
  • Before collecting the specimen, the individual has to blow his/her nose 3 times. Insert the same sterile swab up to 2 cm in both nostrils one by one and rub at least 5 times.

Always read the Instructions for Use carefully.1

Always adhere to ICMR Guidelines.16

  • Put the swab removed from inside of the nose into the extraction buffer tube.
  • Stir it 10 times or more.
  • Remove the swab while squeezing the sides of the tube to extract the liquid from the swab and then close the nozzle cap by pressing it.
  • Apply 3 drops of extracted specimen to the specimen well of the cassette.
  • Start the timer on the app. The mobile phone will give an alarm at the end of 15 minutes. Click and upload the picture of the test card at 15 minutes.
icon read out time

15 min

Control line C

Confirms the test is working correctly

Test line T

Visible if SARS-CoV-2 antigen was detected


Positive result


Negative result


Invalid result
Positive test result

If both the Control line “C” and the Test line “T” are visible, the result is Positive. Even if the test band is faint, it should be considered as positive.

Note: All Individuals who test positive may be considered as true positives and no repeat testing is required. All positive individuals are advised to follow home isolation & care as per the ICMR & Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) protocol which can be accessed at:

Negative test result

If only control line “C” and no test line “T” is visible, the result is Negative.

Note: All symptomatic individuals who test negative by Rapid antigen test should get themselves tested by RT-PCR. This is especially important as the Rapid antigen test are likely to miss few positive cases presenting with a low viral load. All Rapid antigen test negative symptomatic individuals may be treated as suspect COVID-19 cases and are advised to follow ICMR/ MoH&FW home isolation protocol while awaiting the RT-PCR test result.


Invalid test result

If the control line “C” is not visible, the result will be invalid.


Always read the Instructions for Use carefully.1

Always adhere to ICMR Rules.16

The swab inserted in the Extraction buffer tube neutralize SARS-CoV-2 & other viruses. All used components of the test should be put inside the waste disposal bag and discard as Bio Medical Waste in accordance with the facilities arranged by Local Urban Bodies. Disinfect all surfaces that the specimen may have touched and wash your hands after disposal.


  1. COVID-19 At-Home Test Package Insert 2022
  2. Su S, Wong G, Shi W, et al.-Trends Microbiol. 2016;24(6):490–502.-2016-Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 -L (v1.0)
  3. Zhu, N., Zhang, D., Wang, W. et al.-N Engl J Med 382(8) 727-733-2020-Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 -Lit (v1.0)
  4. Chan, J.F., Yuan, S., Kok, K.H., To, K.K., Chu, H., Yang, J. et al.-Lancet. 395, 514–523.-2020- El (v1.0)
  5. U.S. CDC. Published April 2, 2021. Accessed June 11, 2021. 
  6. WHO. Published March 29, 2020. Accessed Juen 11, 2021
  7. Kampf, G., Todt, D., Pfaender, S., Steinmann, E.-J Hosp Infect. 104(3), 246–251.-2020- Elecsys Ant (v1.0)
  8. Letko, M., Marzi, A., Munster, V. (2020).-Nat Microbiol. 1–8. doi:10.1038/s41564-020-0688-y.-2020- (v1.0)
  9. Hoffmann, M., Kleine-Weber, H., Schroeder, S. et al.-[published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 4]. (v1.0)
  10. WHO. sitrep-74-covid-19-mp.pdf. Published April 3, 2020. Accessed June 11, 2021. 
  11. Lauer SA et al.-Ann Intern Med 2020;172(9):577-82-The Incubation Period of COVID-19 (v1.0)
  12. Rothe, C et al-N Engl J Med 2020;382(10):970-971-2020-Lab Infectious Diseases Respiratory tract infec (v1.0)
  13. Kupferschmidt K-Science. symptomatic-patienttrans (v1.0)
  14. Bai Y et al-JAMA 2020;323(14):1406-1407-2020-Lab Infectious Diseases Respiratory tract infections Co (v1.0)
  15. Mizumoto K et al-Euro Surveill 2020;25(10):2000180.-2020-Lab Infectious Diseases Respiratory tract (v1.0)
  16. Indian Council of Medical Research. Advisory for COVID-19 Home Testing using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs). Dated 19 May, 2021.

SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Self Test Nasal Test characteristics

  • Assay format


  • Instrument


  • Testing time

    15-30 minutes

  • Sample material

    Nasal Swab

  • Reagents

    1 Number COVID-19 At-Home Test cassette, 1 Number Extraction Buffer Tube & 1 Number Nozzle Cap, 1 Number Sterile Swab, 1 Number Waste Disposal Bag, 1 Number Covid-19 Rapid Antigen self-test quick reference guide.