The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has designed a testing kit to detect the coronavirus's Omicron variant within two hours.
The kit has been developed by a team of scientists of the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) for the northeastern region. Scientist Dr Biswajyoti Borkakoty led the research group.
"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," Dr Borkakoty confirmed in a statement to ANI.
The scientist stressed the importance of this development by stating that currently, about 36 hours and a period of four-five days are required for targeted sequencing and whole-genome sequencing, respectively, to detect the virus's Omicron variant.
The kit is now being manufactured on a public-private partnership (PPP) model by the Kolkata-based GCC Biotech company.
"The kit has been 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 Borkakorty further delved into the issue.
He added that the tests turned out to be 100 per cent accurate according to their internal validation.
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