DOH says PH can use saliva testing for COVID if...

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 18 2021 09:59 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it is just waiting for the Philippine Red Cross to submit its report on using saliva samples for COVID-19 testing to see if it can be used in the country.

“Supposedly Monday they will present to the laboratory expert panel but they asked for more time. They said Wednesday they will present to our lab experts,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing. 

“But they are already one with the study. They are just finalizing the analysis,” she added.

The Philippine Red Cross has said that using saliva samples would be more cost- and time-efficient with a test only costing around P1,500 to P2,000.

Vergeire said that if the result of the study is “acceptable,” it will be submitted to the Health Technology Assessment Council, which can make a recommendation.

She said the PRC should also have their saliva test kits approved by the Food and Drug Administration so they can be used.

If the kits are approved and the study received validation from the government “we can adopt the protocol already,” the official said.

“We can draft a protocol so that other laboratories can also apply this,” Vergeire said.

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