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Wider coverage of saliva-based PCR testing pushed
In a statement yesterday, Concepcion said research on saliva-based PCR testing has been given the go signal by the Philippine Children’s Medical Center.
STAR/File

Wider coverage of saliva-based PCR testing pushed

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 24, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion is pushing for the greater coverage of saliva-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19 while the country waits for the arrival of vaccines.

In a statement yesterday, Concepcion said research on saliva-based PCR testing has been given the go signal by the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).

“We are pleased to announce that our study on the use of saliva as specimen for SEA-CoV-2 antigen and RT-PCR has been approved by the PCMC Institutional Review and Ethics Board. It paves the way for a faster, more economical and safer method of testing if proven,” PCMC COVID-19 testing laboratory head Dr. Raymundo Lo said, noting that saliva-based testing and saliva-based pooled testing would offer a cheaper, more convenient and cost-effective testing method.

“We invite all who will avail of regular RT-PCR testing at PCMC to participate in the study for us to move forward in reopening our economy with proper safety measures,” Lo added.

Should the research bear substantial results, findings will be forwarded to the Department of Health (DOH) for approval.

“DOH approval would mean that all hospitals and testing centers that have been conducting swab-based PCR testing would be trained and allowed to conduct saliva-based PCR testing,” Concepcion said.

Concepcion’s Go Negosyo group has been involved in helping secure vaccines for the country.

Last month, a second tripartite deal was signed by the private sector with the government for the supply of 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca.

The first deal covering 2.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines was signed by the private sector, government and AstraZeneca in November last year.

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