CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) has developed an indigenous RT-PCR diagnostic kit, ‘Om’, for the testing of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. It is the first kit made by any government institution, and the third to be made indigenously, for specific testing of Omicron. Currently, two more such kits developed by private players are available in the market. The kit will give test results in around two hours.
- Om enables quick and cost-effective detection of omicron variants over genome sequencing for a large population. It was made within two months and will cost around Rs 150.
- Further, it will give the test results in around two hours. According to the scientists, it can also be aligned for the detection of other emerging variants of Covid infection and other respiratory infections.
- Once the kit gets approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), it will be launched by mid-February. The kit has been referred to the ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV) and is yet to be validated.