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Trial run of ‘OmiSure’ kits to diagnose Omicron variant begins in Odisha

The prevailing rate of infection is not alarming enough to enforce lockdown. Though the positivity rate is high in four to five districts, the infectivity is on a lower side in the remaining parts of the State, said Director of Health Services Bijay Mohapatra on Wednesday.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

The state’s health authorities on Wednesday allayed the fear of possible enforcement of lockdown saying that the prevailing Covid-19 situation does not warrant such restrictive measures.

In a related development, the State government has received 30,000 ‘OmiSure’ RT-PCR test kits for early detection of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, a senior health department official said.

The prevailing rate of infection is not alarming enough to enforce lockdown. Though the positivity rate is high in four to five districts, the infectivity is on a lower side in the remaining parts of the State, said Director of Health Services Bijay Mohapatra on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the trial run of the Omisure kits is 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, he said.

The State has received 30,000 ‘OmiSure’ kits in the first phase-out of its order of 5 lakh such kits. He said the kits will first be used in four cities – Berhampur, Cuttack, Rourkela, and Bhubaneswar.

Odisha was the first state in the country to place an order for ‘Omisure’ kits after Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd (TATA MD) in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) developed it, the official said.

The ‘OmiSure’ kits can detect the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV2 in nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal specimens during the RT-PCR tests.

The kits will be used in districts recording high positivity rates in the state. According to January 18 data, Sundargarh had recorded the highest test positivity rate of 36.1 percent, followed by Khurda at 31.1 percent. Twenty-five districts are in the red zone with TPR above 7.5 percent.