ILOILO City – Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests have become cheaper – P2,800 (from P3,800) for the swab and P1,500 (from P2,000) for saliva-based testing.
The Department of Health (DOH) set the price cap, said former Health secretary Dr. Paulyn Ubial, chief of PRC’s biomolecular laboratories.
The PRC has two such laboratories in Region 6 – in Passi City, Iloilo and in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
According to Ubial, the laboratory in Passi City can process 2,000 specimens (saliva and swab) per day, but is currently running only 200.
Ubial is calling on residents of Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Guimaras, and Iloilo to get tested at PRC.
Aside from being affordable, results are released within 24 hours, Ubial said.
Residents need not travel to Passi City to get tested; they can visit any PRC chapter office.
The PRC has chapters in all provinces and highly urbanized cities in Region 6 such as on Bonifacio Drive in Iloilo City.
“Open ang chapter offices sang Red Cross kag dira sa Iloilo naga-collect man sang samples nga ginadul-ong sang aton tinawo sa Passi. So, they don’t have to leave Iloilo to get tested by Red Cross,” Ubial added.
The Passi City Molecular Laboratory is just one of the 13 PRC molecular laboratories in the country.
Ubial assured the public that the results of the less invasive saliva testing are as accurate as that in nasopharyngeal swab test.
Persons who want to get tested can book a schedule online through the link firstname.lastname@example.org. There they can select the chapter office they want to visit.
Do not eat, drink, gargle, smoke or vape for 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment, Ubial said.
The patient shall personally attach a barcode (serves as identification) on the vial.
Ubial also said saliva specimen has no expiration “wala man problema kon maligaran sang duha ukon tatlo ka adlaw antes ma-process”.
It won’t affect the result’s accuracy either, she added./PN