NAGA CITY, Jan.26 (PIA) -- Among the cheaper options to test COVID-19 positive individuals is through the saliva testing earlier proposed by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) thru Chairman and CEO Sen. Richard Gordon.
The cost of each saliva test is pegged at Php2,000.00.
In a memorandum to all PRC Chapters and Officers in Charge, Gordon, confirmed the Department of Health's (DOH) approval for PRC to use the saliva as an alternative specimen for RT-PCR testing among the PRC laboratories all over the country, including the PRC Chapter here in Camarines Sur, based in Panganiban, Naga City.
PRC will use Sansure kit and the approved protocol proposed and implemented in the pilot study done by PRC.
"Conducted in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIIC) and the University of the Philippines (UP), PRC will use the Saliva Test as an option for cheaper, faster and non-invasive COVID-19 RT PCR test allowing more persons to get tested for COVID-19," Chairman Gordon stated.
For immediate implementation, Gordon directed all PRC chapters to fully utilize and support PRC's Saliva Testing by mobilizing the Red Cross 143 volunteers in every municipality/city to inform and assist in informing the populace regarding the availability of saliva testing here.
Since saliva testing is self-administered and does not need medical technologists, so even 143 volunteers can help in the implementation of saliva testing in all their respective areas and take samples from schools, communities, workplaces, malls and market places.
Yet prior to the implementation, RCYs will also be trained on how to protect themselves and conduct activities relative to the fight against COVID-19 such as sanitation and hygiene promotion and COVID-first aid. They will also be taught to check whether the collection procedures are followed to maintain the integrity of the samples collected.
Outputs of this testing will all be forwarded to Chairman Gordon, the Secretary General and to the Head of the PRC Molecular Laboratories.
PRC Camarines Sur Chapter Officer-In-Charge Clamrence R. Abada said that they are still waiting for additional guidelines from PRC headquarters, especially regarding the transport of the specimen in Manila.
The PRC Molecular Laboratory Head shall conduct an orientation to the Chapters on the Saliva Collection and Testing procedures. The Chapter's performance will be monitored through a daily scorecard for COVID-19 testing by the Chapter Development Office and the Operations Center.
'We are confident that this testing protocol will significantly expand the country's capability to test for the virus especially among our students and workforce. Our intention is to beat the COVID-19 pandemic by ferreting out those who test positive so we can quickly isolate them in quarantine areas or send them to hospitals for treatment and more importantly, to resume both academic and economic activities," the PRC Chairman and CEO further stated. (LSMacatangay - PIAV/Camarines Sur)