This is after the pilot test conducted by the PRC on 1,000 health workers last week.
“It was agreed by the laboratory experts panel na puwede nang payagan [ang saliva test],” said Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.
In a letter sent by Health Secretary Francisco Duque to PRC Chairman Richard Gordon, the secretary praised the pilot test conducted and the PRC’s compliance with the department’s recommendations.
Human saliva has also been allowed as an alternative specimen for the RT-PCR test. This will be done in the PRC laboratories using the Sansure kit.
“Ito po ay uumpisahan namin ngayong Lunes, sa ating Mandaluyong laboratory… then habang nagte-training po tayo ng mga other laboratories outside Metro Manila, dadami nang dadami ang puwede nang ma-test sa saliva,” said Dr. Paulyn Ubial, head of PCR Molecular Laboratory.
The DOH also instructed the PRC to regularly submit a report to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine to further study the concordance rate or accuracy rate of the saliva test in the swab test.
The PRC boasted its 98.11 percent concordance rate.
COVID-19 saliva test approved by DOH
The saliva test is expected to be available in February at 13 Red Cross molecular laboratories nationwide.
The Red Cross will also wait for the DOH go signal if it can be used at the airport.
The PRC also requested that it be included in the PhilHealth service.
“Ang kinakailangan na lang siguro ay ang PhilHealth, maglagay ng saliva RT-PCR package,” said Ubial.
You can also book online for the saliva test. Just go to book.redcross1158.com.
Meanwhile, there were more than 1,900 new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, bringing the total number of cases in the country to over 513,000, according to data from the Department of Health this Sunday.
According to the DOH, there are 1,949 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country causing the total number to rise to 513,619.
Of that number, 27,765 are active cases or those who have not yet recovered from the disease.