December 7, 2022

There are more tests available to detect the SARS-CoV2 in the body.
Apart from the nasopharyngeal and antigen tests, saliva tests are now being conducted in Baguio and Benguet by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
The saliva test, which got the approval of the Department of Health as alternative test for the detection of the SARS-CoV2 this year, is 98 percent accurate, is non-invasive compared to the nasopharyngeal swab, and is cheaper.
The saliva test costs P2,000 and is not covered by PhilHealth or senior citizen discount.
Compared to the nasopharyngeal test, which requires inserting a cotton tip into the nose and throat, the saliva test only require an individual to spit into a container to obtain samples for testing.
The specimen will also be processed in a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test machine.
Results may be released in 24 hours but for the Baguio and Benguet chapters of the Red Cross, results will be available in two to three days, as samples have to be submitted to the PRC’s own molecular laboratory in Clark, Zambales.
In Baguio, samples are collected every Tuesday at the PRC office along Harrison Road.
An individual should not eat, drink, smoke, or vape at least 30 minutes before submission of specimen.
Advance booking is also required. To book, follow the instructions at book.redcross.org.ph.
Among the requirements asked from PRC was for the organization to conduct regular review of concordance by subjecting one out of every 100 saliva samples to a parallel nasopharyngeal swab for RT-PCR testing, the results of which shall be submitted to the Regional Institute for Tropical Medicine.
The RITM was directed to conduct a validation study of saliva testing, which upon completion shall be the basis in developing guidelines and protocols for the conduct of saliva specimen testing for laboratories outside of PRC. – Rimaliza A. Opiña