MANILA — The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine might release this week the result of its study on saliva testing for COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
In a meeting with the DOH last Friday, RITM officials said they are already finalizing their results, said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“Hopefully, within this week makapaglabas na ang RITM so we can be able to analyze ang kanilang resulta if pwede nang magamit ng iba nating laboratoryo,” Vergeire said.
(Hopefully, within this week, the RITM can release it so we can be able to analyze their results to see if it can be used by other laboratories.)
The Philippine Red Cross has been allowed to use saliva samples for their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for COVID-19 beginning late January and has started to expand its services.
PRC officials said saliva testing, besides being more convenient for patients and health workers, is also cheaper.
The DOH said saliva testing can only be allowed in other laboratories depending on the result of RITM’s study.
As of this weekend, COVID-19 tests using saliva is not yet covered by PhilHealth.
The Philippines has recorded 537,310 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Sunday, including 26,333 active infections, 11,179 fatalities, and 499,798 recoveries.