DOH awaits validation study for use of saliva COVID-19 test in other labs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2021 09:06 AM | Updated as of Jan 25 2021 09:11 AM

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MANILA - The Department of Health said Monday it was waiting for the validation study of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) before greenlighting saliva COVID-19 testing in other laboratories aside from the Philippine Red Cross.

The non-government organization is set to begin later Monday the use of the cheaper and less invasive COVID-19 test in its 3 molecular laboratories in Metro Manila.

"Nabigyan natin ng clearance ang Philippine Red Cross, ang condition po ay gagamitin lang muna sa PRC laboratories across the country. 'Yun pong paggamit ng ibang laboratories aantayin po natin ang RITM na matapos ang kanilang validation study so we can issue appropriate guidelines," DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(We have given the Philippine Red Cross clearance with the condition it will be used only in their laboratories across the country. We're waiting for the RITM to finish its validation study regarding its use in other laboratories so we can issue appropriate guidelines.)

The saliva COVID-19 test is priced at P2,000 which may decrease if there are more volume of tests, said Dr. Paulyn Ubial, head of PRC molecular laboratories.

The result of the method, which only requires a person to drool into a sterile vial, may be released after 3 hours, according to the PRC.