'Mabilis at mas mura': Red Cross still waiting for gov't nod on use of saliva test


Posted at Nov 19 2020 09:43 AM

Arriving OFWs at the NAIA Terminal 1 undergo health protocols and fill out documents while being assisted by Philippine Coast Guard personnel before getting clearance from the Philippine Red Cross to get swab tests on October 28, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has yet to get government approval for the use of its saliva COVID-19 test, Sen. Richard Gordon said on Thursday.

“Nag submit kami dyan almost 3 months ago, pero sa health assessment I think a month and a one week na. Pero sabi sa akin nandoon na kay [Health] Secretary [Francisco] Duque,” Gordon said.

Gordon said they coordinated with the University of Illinois, where the test was made, and the UP College of Medicine in conducting a validation study on the new coronavirus test, Gordon said.

“Pero meron tayong tinatawag na health technology assessment, nagtagal doon dahil ang gusto nila mag test kami ng 2,500. P25-million ang gagastusin namin sa test,” he said.

The saliva test, he said, is cheaper compared with the swab test, and the result can be obtained faster.

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“So we're still going to go to the usual test natin. Imbes na mababa natin hindi natin magawa. Inaalala ko d'yan pag nagawa 'yun bibili pa kami ng equipment. Kung di pa ma-approve 'yan, di pa kami makakabili,” he said.

The senator said the saliva test is already being done in other countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and even Japan.

“Tama lang na mag-ingat pero sana konting bilis. Kung babagalan nila, ‘di natin matetest ang mga tao nang mas mabilis at mas mura,” he said.

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