Odisha begins trial run of OmiSure test kit for fast detection of Omicron variant of Covid
Odisha on Wednesday started the trial run of ‘OmiSure’ RT-PCR test kits for early detection of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. OmiSure is developed by Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
On January 10, Odisha had placed an order to procure 5 lakh ‘OmiSure’ kits, becoming the first-ever state in India to buy the kit that would detect the fast-spreading variant. In the first phase, the state has received 30,000 kits.
Officials said the OmiSure kit can detect Omicron in nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal specimens during the RT-PCR tests. It is compatible with all standard RT-PCR machines.
“The trial run of the OmiSure kits were in progress. It will be first used for internal study and the kits will then be dispatched to districts reporting a higher number of cases,” Bijay Mohapatra, the state’s director of health services, told news agency PTI.
Mohapatra said OmiSure will be first used in Berhampur, Cuttack, Rourkela and Bhubaneswar cities of Odisha, besides districts recording a high Covid-19 positivity rate. As per official data on Tuesday, Sundargarh had recorded the highest test positivity rate (TPR) of 36.1 per cent, followed by Khurda at 31.1 per cent. Twenty-five districts in Odisha are in the red zone with TPR above 7.5 per cent, PTI further reported.
Odisha has, so far, reported 202 Omicron cases since the variant was detected in the country in December last year. On January 7, the state reported its first death due to Omicron which was also the second death across India.
Meanwhile, the daily Covid-19 tally in the state continued an upward trend with 11,607 infections recorded on Tuesday, pushing the caseload to 11,67,094. Six more patients died and the toll climbed to 8,494. Tuesday’s fatality count has been the highest in more than three months.
(With PTI inputs)