The validation result for saliva-based Covid-19 testing might be out this or next week, National Task Force Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vivencio Dizon said in a Palace briefing Tuesday.
Dizon, who is also the testing czar, said the validation for saliva-based Covid-19 testing started last year with the first application coming from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
“We urge the regulatory agencies under the Department of Health (DOH) to fast-track the validation for saliva testing so we can issue the guidelines for saliva testing for Covid-19,” he said in Filipino.
Dizon said this would give the public a new option for Covid-19 testing, apart from testing through swab, which is “uncomfortable” and “very invasive”.
Over the weekend, PRC said the saliva test in the United States registered a 99-percent detection rate among one million individuals tested for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the DOH already approved the guidelines for pooled testing.
Under the guidelines, Dizon said the pooled testing should be for a pool of five.
This means five specimens will be sharing one polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kit, which will cut the cost for PCR tests.
“Under the guidelines, we can use pooled testing in situations where incidents are low and in areas with low positivity rate,” Dizon added.
Meanwhile, more than 6.83 million PCR tests for Covid-19 were already done in the country.
Source: Philippines News agency