The Philippine Red Cross on Tuesday piloted COVID-19 testing based on saliva, which is faster and cheaper compared to the gold standard RT-PCR.
Since it requires just saliva, this form of testing eliminates the discomfort of having a long cotton swab inserted into a person's throat or nostrils. The PRC said it sought approval from the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration for saliva-based testing in October 2020.
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A saliva specimen is stable at room temperature and does not require cold chain transport, cutting logistics costs.
"We are expanding our testing services with a more affordable testing which is faster and less invasive. Our proposal is based on sound studies conducted and approved in other countries. These results as well as findings on tests conducted locally by PRC were presented to the DOH and the FDA," PRC Chairman and CEO Sen. Richard Gordon said.