PRC eyes saliva testing sites for students, factory workers, PUV drivers
MANILA, Philippines — After it opened saliva collection sites in some Metro Manila malls for Covid-19 testing, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is eyeing the same for students, workers in factories, drivers of public utility vehicles next, its chairman, Senator Richard Gordon, said Wednesday.
“Ang pinapaumpisahan ko yung mga pabrika—at pumayag rin naman si [Trade] Secretary [Ramon] Lopez—yung mga pabrika. Mas mabilis yan e. Saka pati si [Transport] Secretary [Arthur] Tugade, tinawagan ko rin, payag din sila sa mga buses sa mga jeepney, at saka sa mga estudyante para makapasok na yung mga bata,” Gordon said in an interview over Teleradyo.
(I also want to have saliva collection sites in factories and Secretary Lopez supports it. It will be faster. I also called Sec. Tugade, they are OK with it, for the buses and jeepneys. I’m also eyeing saliva testing for students so that they can already go to school.)
“Ang pakay natin dito makapasok ang mga tao, maghanapbuhay,” he added.
(What we want to happen is that people can get back to work and make a living.)
Earlier, the PRC signed a memorandum of agreement with SM Supermalls (SCMC) for drive-thru saliva collection sites, which opened on Tuesday, Feb. 2.
In a statement, the PRC said the first two collection sites are located at SM Megamall, Mega A bus bay along EDSA Mandaluyong, and at the 5 Ecom Open Parking in Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
The said locations will only serve as specimen collection sites for the saliva reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test and these samples will be forwarded to PRC laboratories for testing.
The Department of Health earlier gave PRC the green light to use saliva tests in detecting Covid-19. The use of the saliva test is seen to be a cheaper and less invasive alternative to swab testing.
Gordon, meanwhile, reminded those that will undergo saliva testing not to eat or drink 30 minutes before they will provide their saliva sample for the test.
“Half an hour ‘wag muna kakain, half an hour wag kang iinom. Wag ka magtu-toothbrush and gargle, para sa ganun malinis na malinis,” he said.
(Half an hour before, don’t eat, drink, brush your teeth or gargle, so that the specimen is clean.)
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