Approval of COVID-19 saliva test possible says Duque
MANILA, Philippines — There is a big possibility that the the saliva test for COVID-19 will be approved, although its accuracy in remains subject to validation, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Thursday.
“The chances are big,” Duque said in an interview on ABS-CBN Channel when asked if there is a possibility to allow the conduct of saliva tests.
“It’s just undergoing validation because we just want to ascertain that the results are accurate and really, with very high concordance rate or agreement rate with the swab way of collecting the specimen for RT-PCR [reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction] testing,” he added.
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Sen. Richard Gordon is pushing for the use of saliva tests to detect the new coronavirus, saying this will cut the cost, yields fast results and is 99.9 percent reliable.
The PRC already submitted to the Department of Health (DOH) the results of the tests it conducted to assess the accuracy of saliva tests in detecting the coronavirus.
It is still waiting for DOH’s approval before saliva tests for COVID-19 can be institutionalized.
Apart from the PRC, the DOH said the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine is also studying the potential use of saliva as a specimen for COVID-19 testing.
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