Sharmili Mallick

A dry run to test the efficacy of OmiSure kits, developed to detect the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2, begun in Odisha on Wednesday, informed the State Health Services Director, Bijay Mohapatra.

Around 30,000 OmiSure kits, developed by Tata Medical and Diagnostics, have reached the State in the first phase. The Odisha government has placed an order to procure 5 lakh Omicron testing kits.

Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO and managing director of Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd. had earlier stated that Odisha is the first state in the country to order the Omicron test kits.

As per reports, the homegrown kits will be used initially in four cities of the State—Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Cuttack and Rourkela- for internal study to detect the Omicron variant of the Covid-19.

“There are many variants of Covid-19. Omicron is one among them. It is highly transmissible. Depending on the number of positive cases, the OmiSure kits will be sent to different places for an internal study,” stated Mohapatra.

“Likewise, the kits will be sent to Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Cuttack and Rourkela where the size of positive population is high in comparison to other places of the State,” added the State Health Services Director.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had recently approved the kit for RT-PCR detection of the Omicron variant.

Other than Omicron variant, the kit can also detect variants like Alpha, Beta, Gama and Delta of SARS-CoV2, claim the manufacturers.

The test run time of the kit is 85 minutes while the result turnaround time, including sample collection and RNA extraction, is 130 minutes.
Odisha has reported 202 cases of Omicron variant so far. The cumulative positive tally in the State rose to 11,67,094 with the detection of 11,607 infections in the last 24 hours in the State.

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