The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved a kit that will be used to detect Omicron. The kit is manufactured by Tata Medical and Diagnostics and is named OmiSure.
Currently the kit that is being used to detect the Omicron variant in India is developed by US-based scientific instrumentation company Thermo Fisher. It uses the S Gene Target Failure (SGTF) strategy to detect the variant. An approval letter by ICMR dated December 30,
2021, said: “The tests have been performed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Responsibility for batch-to-batch consistency lies with the manufacturer.
The kit comes as a major aid as analysing the Omicron variant have been an issue among medical experts. The RT-PCR kit, Omisure, was earlier sent to the ICMR for approval after continued testing. The kit is now the only one in India used to confirm the Omicron variant in patients with its S-Gene Target Failure strategy. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, India registered another spike in daily Omicron cases. The country’s tally for the highly transmissible strain was recorded at 1,892 cases out of which 766 have already recovered. State-wise Maharashtra with 568 leads the pack followed by Delhi with 382 omicron cases.
Since the Omicron variant underwent several mutations in the S-gene, the SGTF strategy indicates it in patients who are detected Covid positive from other target genes of the virus but show a dropout of S-gene. While government agencies procure standard RT-PCR kits for Rs 20 30 each, a SGTF-based Thermo Fisher kit costs them at least Rs 240.