PRC pilots 1,000 COVID-19 saliva tests

The Philippine Red Cross is set to conduct 1,000 saliva COVID-19 tests starting today as part of its pilot study for a cheaper and less intrusive type of testing for Filipinos.

Paulyn Ubial, chief of the PRC’s molecular laboratories, said they were targeting to submit all the samples to the Department of Health this week.

Ubial, a former health secretary, said they had already presented results of their success in saliva tests to the DOH last October but the agency was only able to give feedback this month.

The tests yielded a 95 percent concordance rate with the gold standard reverse transcription – polymerase chain reaction tests, according to Ubial. This means that when patients tested positive or negative in RT-PCR, the same results came out in saliva tests.

She added, “And now they are asking us to speed up (the process) to release the 1,000 additional samples that we are going to do starting with Senator Gordon as our pilot in our implementation.”

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