The Philippine Red Cross announced its molecular laboratories in Metro Manila which would be launched on Monday could process saliva COVID-19 tests daily.
The saliva test is cheaper and less intrusive. According to Dr. Paulyn Ubial, head of PRC molecular laboratories, it would be launched in provincial laboratories by February.
“We have 10 provincial laboratories. Ine-expect po namin nakakayanin magtest doon ng (we expect they can test) 22,000, so nationwide we can test 30,000 a day,” she told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
The saliva COVID-19 test costs P2,000 but it could be lower if there are more volume of tests, Ubial added.
The PRC earlier said the test, which only requires a person to drool into a sterile vial, could produce results after three hours.
Those who wish to avail of the PRC’s saliva COVID-19 test have to book via book.redcross1158.com.
PRC chairman Sen. Richard Gordon earlier advised those who would get tested using this method should not eat anything, drink, gargle, smoke, or use vape thirty minutes prior to submission of their saliva sample.
Saliva COVID-19 test approved by DOH
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.
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.