The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved the first RT-PCR test kit to detect the Omicron variant. This kit is manufactured by Tata Medical and Diagnostics, Mumbai and is named OmiSure. The kit is now the only one in India used to confirm the Omicron variant in patients with its S-Gene Target Failure (SGTF) strategy.

The multiplex kit is being marketed by US-based Thermo Fisher. This comes at a time when the country is facing the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases triggered by the new Omicron variant. And analysing the Omicron variant have been an issue among medical experts.

Since the Omicron variant underwent several mutations in the S-gene, the SGTF strategy checks and indicates it in patients who are detected COVID positive. ‘S’ Gene, ORF, ‘N’ gene, Rdrp, ‘E’ gene are viral genes that are targeted to detect COVID-19 virus.

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.