Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) at Assam has come up with a testing kit that can detect the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, in just two hours.

The ICMR team has been working on this kit since November 24, according to NDTV.

They have tested and scanned this kit with over 1,000 samples of Covid-19 patients, including some from other states who have been detected with Omicron.

The NDTV report said, “Currently, the licensing process of this test kit is underway, and is expected to be available for the lab from the next week.”

The team is led by Dr Biswajyoti Borkakoty, Senior Scientist, Regional Medical Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research (RMRC- ICMR), Dibrugarh.

“ICMR-RMRC Dibrugarh has designed and developed a hydrolysis probe-based real-time RT-PCR assay for detection of the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) that can detect the new variant within 2 hours,” said Dr Biswajit Borkakoty.

“The kit is tested against specific synthetic gene fragments of Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 within two different highly specific unique regions of the spike protein and also reference wild type control synthetic gene fragments,” Dr Borkakoty said.

The kit developed by ICMR-RMRC is now being produced on a bulk basis by a 100 per cent made in India, a Kolkata-based company, GCC biotech on a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

The test kit is to be used in labs that have RT-PCR facility and it is not an on-site test kit like anti-gen test kits.

The Indian States including Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Gujarat have reported cases of the new COVID-19 variant with the total number of Omicron cases in the country going up to 35.

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This article was originally published at FE and is reproduced without any modifications except the headline and picture may have been reworked by ApaNa staff.


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