In view of the second wave of Covid-19 that has put extreme pressure on diagnostic path labs, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently approved Covid-19 home testing using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs). The self-use test can be used by symptomatic individuals and immediate contacts of confirmed cases as per the ICMR guidelines. Users of this test will not need sample collection by a healthcare professional. This will ease pressure on overburdened labs and reduce delays in testing. However, these tests should be done wisely and in lieu of the said Covid-19 norms.
According to the ICMR, individuals who test positive using the home testing kit may be considered as true positives, and no-repeat testing is required. All symptomatic individuals who test negative must get tested by RT-PCR, as RATs are likely to miss few positive cases.
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How Does The Home Testing Kit Work?
Each kit provides all testing materials, instructions to use (IFU) leaflet and a biohazard bag to be safely disposed of after testing. The test is designed to be done using a nasal swab (not the deep nasopharyngeal swab) to reduce the discomfort. The kit is supposed to provide results in 15 minutes and people who test positive should immediately isolate so that they do not infect others, and quickly contact the local municipal bodies and their healthcare provider. Those who test negative and continue to experience Covid-like symptoms should seek follow-up care from their healthcare provider and conduct an RT-PCR test.
How Do You Know When The Result Is Positive?
The kit has a control line and a test line that will indicate the result. If both Control Line C and the Test Line T appear in the cartridge, the presence of novel coronavirus antigen is confirmed, and the result is positive. This takes up to around 15 minutes for results to appear.
How Do You Know When The Result Is Negative?
If only quality Control Line C appears but the Test Line T does not appear, this indicates that novel coronavirus antigen has not been detected and the result is negative.
How Do You Know When The Result Is Invalid?
For invalid results, if the quality control line C is not observed, it will be invalid regardless of whether there is a test line T. In this case, the test shall be conducted again.
What Do Positive Results Indicate?
Positive results indicate the presence of viral antigens. People who test positive with the home Covid-19 Antigen Test should self-isolate and seek to follow up care with their physician or healthcare provider for further action.
What Are The Possible Disadvantages Of These Tests?
There could a possible discomfort while sample collection, if you do not do it correctly. Also, RATs have the tendency to interpret incorrect results. The other possibility is that people may test positive and resort to self-medication which could be harmful to them.
Are There Any Preparation To Do Before The Test?
Firstly, it is important that you find a clean place to do the test.
* Identify a table and sanitise the surface thoroughly.
* Wash your hands with soap, and make sure that your hands are dry before you perform the test.
* Tear the pouch and lay the contents of the kit on the table.
* Before you proceed with the test, please download the app mentioned in the testing kit, fill in the credentials and then proceed with the test. This is important so that no positive case is missed.
Always remember that there are many factors that come into play when it comes to home test kits. These tests work best with people who have symptoms of Covid-19. If you test a little early or say if you are asymptomatic, most likely your test may show negative and that might give you a false sense of reassurance that this negative test means you are not transmissible, when you really could be. So, if you are sick, it is important to seek medical aid from your healthcare provider, and report the findings of the test to the local municipal body.
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New York, June 16 (IANS) Moderna's mRNA Covid vaccine and a protein-based shot is safe for use in young children and offers strong immunity response, with no adverse effects, according to a research on baby rhesus macaques.The study by a team of scientists at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian reported that both the vaccines elicited strong neutralising antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, in 16 baby rhesus macaques. The antibody responses persisted for 22 weeks.The research, published in the journal Science Immunology, suggests that vaccines for young children are likely important, safe tools to curtail the pandemic."The level of potent antibodies we observed were comparable to what has been seen in adult macaques, even though the doses were 30 micrograms instead of the 100 microgram adult doses," said Kristina De Paris, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at the UNC School of Medicine"With the Moderna vaccine, we observed specific strong T cell responses, as well, which we know are important to limiting disease severity," De Paris added.To evaluate SARS-CoV-2 infant vaccination, the researchers immunised two groups of 8 infant rhesus macaques at 2.2 months of age and 4 weeks later.Each animal received one of two vaccine types: a preclinical version of the Moderna mRNA vaccine or a protein-based vaccine developed by the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, with an adjuvant from 3M that stimulates cells through toll-like receptor 7 and 8.Both vaccines elicited high magnitude of IgG neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and Spike protein-specific T cell responses -IL-17, IFN-g, and TNF. These are called T helper 1 immune responses.Importantly, the vaccines did not elicit T helper type 2 responses, which can be detrimental to vaccine efficacy and safety in infants. Such responses can counter the immune response against the virus. And so, T helper 2 responses have hindered the development of vaccines in young children, most notably for the common Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).--IANSrvt/in
Tehran, June 15 (IANS) Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki has announced the emergency use of a domestic vaccine for Covid-19.The emergency use of COVIran Barakat financed by the Barakat Foundation has been authorised, Namaki said at a conference in the central city of Arak on Monday.The COVIran vaccine has gone through three clinical trial stages, the last of which involved 20,000 people in the cities of Tehran, Bushehr, Shiraz, Karaj, Mashhad and Isfahan, Xinhua news agency quoted the local Tasnim media outlet as saying in a report.Moreover, another vaccine developed jointly by Cuba and the Pasteur Institute of Iran will be authorised next week, Namaki added.Iran has already introduced Covid-19 vaccines from Russia, India, China and South Korea for 4,354,445 people across the country. According to the World Health Organization, Iran has so far administered 4,553,653 vaccine doses so far.The country, one of the worst-hit in the Middle East, has registered a total of 3,028,717 coronavirus cases and 82,098 deaths.--IANSksk/
Besan or gram flour has long been used in India for its many benefits for skin and hair care. In fact, it is a traditional home remedy used right from the time when one is a baby. Besan in the form of uptans or epilation formula for baby hair, during adulthood in a myriad number of packs and scrubs to take care of beauty issues right from acne to tanning, cleansing and exfoliating. Not surprisingly, the world is now waking up to this must-have beauty essential that is gram flour.
Dr. Geeta Grewal, Cosmetic Surgeon and Wellness Expert, 9Muses Wellness Clinic, Gurugram takes you through the various ways to use gram flour and also gives you recipes for packs and treatments you can make and apply at home.
Natural Hair Remover
In India, gram flour has been used to remove fine facial hair. In fact, a gram flour scrub is used to remove hair from all over the body for babies. If you are tired of threading and waxing your face, you could try gram flour hair removal as well. Just keep a few things in mind before you start. For starters, steam your face so that the pores open and the hair is easier to remove from the roots; Don't rub too harshly as that might cause your skin to become inflamed and irritated. Don't forget to do a patch test first to check if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the home remedy and don't be impatient because you will have to repeat the treatment a number of times before you get the results you want.
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Step 1: Make a paste with gram flour and fenugreek powder and yoghurt.
Step 2: Apply this over the areas where you want to remove hair.
Step 3: Allow it to dry. Wet your face with a little water and scrub away the paste.
Brings Glow To The Skin
Gram flour packs work wonders in absorbing the excess oil and cleansing your skin as well. Gram flour has alkalizing properties that keeps the pH levels of your skin balanced. It is also very absorbent and soaks up all the extra oil. Gram flour has been used for brightening one's skin tone for centuries and its super cleansing properties leave your face looking its best.
Add half a cup besan, a pinch of turmeric powder and quarter cup fresh milk to create a smooth paste. Apply evenly on your face and neck area and leave it on for 20-25 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water to notice the glow.
Removes Dark Patch From The Elbow
Tanning and darkening of elbows is one of the most difficult and stubborn areas to remove black spots. But there are certain home remedies to help you to get rid of dark and black elbows. Gram flour cleanses the area and also provides mild exfoliation. Lemon juice acts as a natural bleach that will help to reduce the darkness from your elbows.
Add a teaspoonful of lime juice to a teaspoon full of gram flour to make it a paste. You have to balance out the consistency of the paste by carefully adding or reducing the lemon juice to make it little thicker. Apply the mixture and rub in circular motion on your elbows. Allow it to dry and wash it off with cold water.
Cures Dry Skin
Are you wondering how we can make such contradictory statements, especially when we have just talked about how gram flour can help deal with oily skin? Well, that is the wonder of gram flour that helps control oiliness and also tackles dry, scaly skin. When besan is mixed with milk cream (malai), it acts as a wonderful moisturiser. You could also add some olive oil or almond oil and get the same results.
Step 1: Mix gram flour and milk cream to make a paste
Step 2: Apply this to your face and neck
Step 3: Wash it off before it dries completely
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Best For Exfoliation
Exfoliating should be an essential part of your beauty routine because if you do not scrub away all the dead skin cells, the debris starts to pile up leaving your skin looking dull and lifeless. While there are hundreds of scrubs available in the market, there's nothing like a good, home-made gram flour scrub to get the glow back on your face. And its environment-friendly as well.
Step 1: Combine 3 teaspoons gram flour with 1 teaspoon ground oats, 2 teaspoons cornflour and milk.
Step 2: Gently rub this on your damp face and leave on for about 10 minutes.
Step 3: Wash off
Has your hair turned dull and lifeless because of all the commercially available shampoos and cleansers? Well, maybe its time to try a homemade hair cleanser.
Step 1: Make a simple thin paste of besan and water. Take as much gram flour and water as you think is necessary to cover your scalp.
Step 2: Apply the paste evenly all over your scalp.
Step 3: Leave on for 10 minutes and wash off.
If you want to go back to your natural colouring, ditch the harsh chemical tan lighteners and try gram flour instead for tan removal. With its multipurpose benefits, there is nothing quite like gram flour and the best part is that it is almost always available in your kitchen. Gram flour has been used for de-tanning and brightening one skin tone for centuries and its super cleansing properties leave your face looking its best ever. Try this kitchen remedy today.
Step 1: Mix 4 teaspoons gram flour with a pinch of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of curd and the juice of a lemon. The vitamin C in lemon will reduce pigmentation, while dahi will moisturise your skin.
Step 2: Add a pinch of salt for exfoliating benefits
Step 3: Apply to your skin and face daily and you will see results after prolonged use.
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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) HCL on Saturday announced that it has provided 17 ready-to-use oxygen plants to the Delhi government. These plants have been imported from France and are now deployed across seven hospitals in the city.The total combined capacity of the 17 plants is 7,300 liters per minute (LPM). The plants were inaugurated on Saturday, in a virtual ceremony, in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, and Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of HCL Technologies.The 17 are part of the total 21 ready-to-use Oxygen plants that HCL has committed to provide to the national capital. The remaining four plants have also arrived in Delhi and will be installed over the next few days. These plants are aimed at ensuring oxygen support to Covid-19 patients across various hospitals in the capital, as well as enabling the Kejriwal government to be adequately prepared for a possible third wave of the pandemic.--IANSsn/in
Ottawa, June 12 (IANS) The state-run Health Canada said that it will not use the 300,000 Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine doses which arrived in the country in April due to a possible quality issue."To protect the health and safety of Canadians in response to concerns regarding a drug substance produced at the Emergent BioSolutions facility in Baltimore Maryland, Health Canada will not be releasing the shipment," the government department said in a statement on Friday.The drug substance produced at the facility was used in the manufacturing of this shipment of Janssen vaccines, reports Xinhua news agency."The drug substance was manufactured at the time a separate batch of vaccines was contaminated by the components of a different vaccine. "Health Canada was unable to determine that this shipment of Janssen vaccines meets the Department's rigorous quality standards," the statement added.To ensure the safety of any future vaccine supply from this facility, Health Canada is planning an on-site inspection, expected to take place later this year."Until this inspection has been completed, Canada will not be accepting any product or ingredients made at this site," it said.The statement came after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Friday that Johnson & Johnson must discard millions of doses of its Covid-19 vaccine that were manufactured at the Baltimore facility.The FDA halted production at the Baltimore site after discovering that ingredients from AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine also being produced at the plant at the time contaminated a batch of Johnson & Johnson jab.An FDA inspection also reportedly found sanitary problems and bad manufacturing practices at the plant.The AstraZeneca vaccine is no longer being made at the Baltimore facility, and Health Canada previously said that the 1.5 million doses it had imported from this facility were safe and met quality specifications. --IANSksk/