Does Omicron Variant of COVID-19 escape RT-PCR and RAT tests? Here's all you need to know

Omicron is the the recently-detected COVID-19 variant which is believed to be more contagious than the other variants from the past.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 12:51 PM IST
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Omicron, the recently-detected COVID-19 variant is the most mutated version of the virus found so far, which has caused fears in the minds of people questioning on vaccine resistance and whether the variant can be spot with the existing techniques.

On the concern whether RT-PCR and RAT tests would suffice to identify the Omicron Variant of COVID-19, health experts and scientists have given a sigh of relief.

ANI mentioned in a tweet quoting official souress, 'The #OmicronVariant of COVID19 doesn't escape RT-PCR and RAT tests. The States have been advised to ramp up testing for early identification of positive cases, and early management.'

"Most of the current ICMR approved RT-PCR kits being used in India target the E, Rd Rp and N genes. The mutations in the latest variant have occurred in the S gene. The common RT-PCR kits being used will be able to identify positive or negative, but will not be able to identify if the positive result is due to the mutation in the S gene," Arjun Dang, CEO, Dr Dangs Lab, told IANS.

A week ago, the World Health Organization had classified the latest variant -- B.1.1.529 of SARS-CoV-2 virus -- as Omicron, a 'Variant of Concern' (VOC), which hints it could be more contagious, more virulent or more skilled at evading public health measures, vaccines and therapeutics.

First detected in Botswana and South Africa, Omicron has since spread to various countries in Europe, including Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the UK, in Australia and Canada, among others.

(with inputs from agencies)

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