Can You Test For Coronavirus At Home? Here's The Official Virus Testing Process


There is a lot of misinformation on Coronavirus, including for the question, 'can you test Coronavirus at home?' Here is the official testing procedure.

Written By Anushka Pathania | Mumbai | Updated On:
can you test coronavirus

The Coronavirus has reached the pandemic stage which has created a panic among people leading to a lot of misinformation and misguidance going around. Recently, it was being reported by various media portals that some private labs and companies have come up with ‘home-testing-kits’ for Coronavirus. While they claim to be accurate in diagnosis, authentic websites like the WHO, Health Ministry of India or any other government websites have not mentioned self-diagnosis. Therefore, these claims of being able to test Coronavirus at home should not be believed. Accurate information is essential as the Coronavirus has reached stage 3 in many countries and is stage 2 in India.

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Can you test for Coronavirus at home?

It needs to be emphasised that people should not fall prey to false information or follow videos and news that has made its way to you from social media. It is of utmost importance that one takes care of themselves and pays attention to the health of their family. As the contagious Coronavirus has made its way to India, it must not be taken lightly as anyone and anything could be a carrier of the disease. Therefore, practice hygiene, proper sanitation, and watch out for the symptoms.

How to get tested for Coronavirus?

Since you cannot test Coronavirus at home, if you think that you have gotten the virus, it is essential that certain steps are followed. You will need to monitor your own symptoms, practise self-isolation, and visit only authorised testing centres. 

Symptoms of Coronavirus:

As cited by the official website of the World Health Organisation, the symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness and dry cough.
  • Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea.
  • These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.
  • Most people (about 80 per cent) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.
  • Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
  • People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

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How is the test for Coronavirus conducted?

Anybody having the symptoms of Coronavirus, or cough and fever must get themselves checked and tested at authorised hospitals and laboratories. The test for Coronavirus is not the usual one. A specimen of the person would be collected and then the specimen would be tested in a lab. In persons who are identified as patients, a single upper respiratory tract specimen which includes a nasopharyngeal swab or viral throat swab is to be collected in a universal transport medium.

Please note: These tests are to be conducted at hospitals and laboratories only or by authentic doctors. As the testing of the specimen can be done at labs only, please refrain from self-diagnosis or home test kits.

Who must get tested?

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Anyone who has travelled from abroad must observe self-isolation for 14 days. Although screenings are being conducted at airports, one must not take the quarantine lightly. If they see any symptom, even mild, they must get themselves tested. One must bear in mind that in some cases, symptoms have taken a while to develop or show. Hence self-quarantine is of utmost importance. Other than that, people who have come into contact with people who have travelled must also put themselves in isolation. Anyone having symptoms like cough, fever, or fatigue must get themselves tested immediately. 

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List of testing centres in India


All India Institute Medical Sciences (AIIMS)

National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)


Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur

Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Mumbai


Sawai Man Singh, Jaipur

Dr. S.N Medical College, Jodhpur

Jhalawar Medical College, Jhalawar

SP Med. College, Bikaner

RNT Medical College, Udaipur


King's Institute of Preventive Medicine & Research, Chennai

Government Medical College, Theni

Tirunelveli Medical College, Tirunelveli

Govt. Medical college, Thiruvaru


King's George Medical University, Lucknow

Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi  

Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh


Government Medical College, Haldwani


National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata

IPGMER, Kolkata


All India Institute Medical Sciences, Bhopal

National Institute of Research in Tribal Health (NIRTH), Jabalpur


National Institute of Virology Field Unit

Govt. Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram

Govt. Medical College, Kozhikode

Govt. Medical College, Thrissur


Bangalore Medical College & Research Institute, Bangalore  

National Institute of Virology Field Unit Bangalore

Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, Mysore

Hassan Inst. of Med. Sciences, Hassan

Shimoga Inst. of Med. Sciences, Shivamogga


BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad

M.P.Shah Government Medical College, Jamnagar


BPS Govt Medical College, Sonipat

Pt. B.D. Sharma Post Graduate Inst. of Med. Sciences, Rohtak


Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Dr. Rajendra Prasad Govt. Med. College, Kangra, Tanda


Sher-e- Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar  

Government Medical College, Jammu

Government Medical College, Srinagar


MGM Medical College, Jamshedpur


NEIGRI of Health and Medical Sciences, Shillong


J N Inst. of Med. Sciences Hospital, Imphal-East, Manipur

Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal


Regional Medical Research Center, Bhubaneswar   


Government Medical College, Patiala

Government Medical College, Amritsar


Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry


Gandhi Medical College, Secunderabad

Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad


Government Medical College, Agartala


Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna   


Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh   


All India Institute  Medical Sciences, Raipur


Regional Medical Research Centre, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar


Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati

Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam

GMC, Anantapur

Sidhartha Medical College, Vijayawada

Rangaraya Medical College, Kakinada


Gauhati Medical College, Guwahati

Regional Medical Research Center, Dibrugarh

Silchar Medical College, Silchar

Jorhat Medical College, Jorhat

All images sourced from Shutterstock

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