PRC submits results of COVID-19 saliva tests to DOH, says FDA
MANILA, Philippines — The results of tests conducted by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to assess the accuracy of saliva tests in detecting the coronavirus which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was already submitted to the Department of Health (DOH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Eric Domingo said Friday.
PRC earlier launched trials to test the efficacy of saliva tests, which it deems as a cheaper and faster alternative compared to swab tests in tracing the novel coronavirus.
“Yung mga kits na ginagamit na ito ay mga approved kits naman dahil mga PCR test kits naman po talaga (The test kits used are approved kits because these are PCR test kits),” Domingo said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
“So ang nalalaman ko po, ‘yung Red Cross, ‘yung resulta ng kanilang parang testing na ginawa ay pinadala po nila sa Health Technology Assessment ng DOH para suriin, para madesisyunan kung maaari po siyang ipalit or maging kapareho rin po ng PCR na nasopharyngeal swab,” he added.
(What I know is the result of the test conducted by Red Cross was already submitted to the Health Technology Assessment of the DOH so it can be examined and decided upon if it can substitute or be comparable to PCR tests using nasopharyngeal swab.)
According to Domingo, PRC is awaiting the approval of the DOH before saliva tests for COVID-19 can be institutionalized.
Domingo said reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits will still be used in conducting saliva tests. However, he added that saliva tests are deemed to be safer than swab tests as the former would not require direct contact with health personnel who will be doing the tests.
According to Domingo, other countries also use saliva tests for COVID-19, although he said he wasn’t sure about the exact testing programs where these were used.
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