The Philippine Red Cross is looking into offering COVID-19 saliva RT-PCR tests at major shopping malls.
“Sa mga malls po, iilang mga malalaking malls, nakipag-ugnayan na rin sa Philippine Red Cross, magiging available na rin po ang saliva RT-PCR,” Dr. Paulyn Ubial, head of PRC’s Molecular Laboratory, said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB on Saturday.
This would allow more people to avail of the saliva test, which Ubial said is cheaper.
The test costs only P2,000.
“Mas mura ang saliva test ng 60% kumpara sa swab test… Mas ligtas din and saliva test para sa mga nangongolekta ng samples,” she said.
Dr. Ubial: Mas ligtas din ang saliva test para sa mga nangongolekta ng samples. https://t.co/Jl7zdrja0g
— DZBB Super Radyo (@dzbb) January 30, 2021
Ubial said the saliva test may be conducted in the parking lots of shopping malls.
“Ang parang gagawin sa labas ng malls po, sa labas ng parking lot nila, parang drive-thru. Nasa loob lang kayo ng kotse, bigyan kayo ng sample kit, doon po kayo dudura, then iaabot niyo sa sample collector. Hindi na po kailangan lumabas ng kotse,” she said.
The saliva test also does not need cold storage facility.
“Pagkakuha ng sample, puwede nang ilagay sa styro box or ‘yung cold box… Ilalagay lang doon sa loob for security and safety and para hindi ma-expose sa extreme temperature. Pero the saliva samples are viable at room temperature for seven days,” Ubial said.
For now, the saliva test, which was launched last week, is available only at PRC offices in Mandaluyong City and Port Area, Manila. The PRC targets to make the COVID-19 saliva test available in all its laboratories nationwide in February, its chairman Senator Richard Gordon said Tuesday.
Those who want to avail of the test may book an appointment online at the PRC website.
Ubial reminded those availing of the saliva test not to eat, drink or brush their teeth at least 30 minutes before their scheduled test.
The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) is looking into the possibility of including the saliva test as part of its COVID-19 benefit package, its president Dante Gierran said Tuesday. —KG, GMA News
This article Philippine Red Cross eyes having COVID-19 saliva tests at shopping malls was originally published in GMA News Online.