The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is still studying the use of saliva test for COVID-19 detection, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Friday.
"As soon as RITM have initial results of this study, we will be sharing it to everybody because this is something worth pursuing kung makakatulong talaga at makita natin na acceptable at feasible para dito sa ating strategy for testing here in the country," she told reporters in an online forum.
One of the advantages of this saliva test is that specimens are easier to collect compared to PCR test which involves swabbing.
"Ngayon, kapag sina-swab tayo sa ilong at throat it's really inconvenient for a person but when you do a saliva test, you use a stick with a sponge at the end and then you just drop it off doon sa loob ng buccal cavity (oral cavity) and then that's it. It's done, you put it in a transport medium," Vergeire said.
The disadvantage, meanwhile, is that there is a chance for food particles to contaminate the specimen.
To get an accurate yield, the specimen must be of the right amount.
"Kailangan tama ang ginagwa mo na pag-rub ng sponge doon sa sides ng mouth ng isang tao," Vergeire said.
On Thursday, Project Antibody Rapid Test Kit (ARK), the private-sector-led initiative that aims to boost the country's capacity to identify and contain COVID-19, said it is working to bring this game-changer "antigen saliva test" to the Philippines for faster and cheaper detection of the coronavirus. -MDM, GMA News