MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Red Cross will launch its drive-thru saliva COVID-19 test in malls starting February 3.
The PRC believes saliva testing is easier, more convenient and cheaper.
According to former health secretary now PRC’s molecular laboratory head Dr. Paulyn Ubial, the agency now has 3,100 samples since they started the program on January 25.
To further expand their reach, the PRC targets to put up saliva testing boots in parking areas of shopping malls.
“Pwedeng mag drive thru. Ibig sabihin dadaan ang kanilang sasakyan at bibigyan sila ng sample collection kit at doon sa loob ng sasakyan dudura o idu-drool yung kanilang laway (It can be drive-thru where they can stay inside the vehicle and will be given a sample collection kit for their spit),” Ubial said.
“Kapag nakakuha na sila ng one to two milliliters i-aabot na lang nila ang lalagyan na vial doon sa ating mga saliva collectors (Once they have filled one to two milliliters of the vial, they can just hand it over the vial to saliva collectors),” she added.
Aside from malls, the PRC is also looking to bring the project to factories, offices, schools and public transport stations for jeepney and bus drivers.
Tourist destinations such as Boracay, Siargao, El Nido in Palawan and Bohol are also future venues for the initiative.
“Gusto nating ma-test ang mga tao bago sila parang pumasok sa eskwela, pumasok sa trabaho, pumasok sa mall, para nang sa gayon ay mahiwalay na natin ang positive sa negative (We want to test the people before going to school, work and malls so that we can immediately separate the positive cases from the negative ones),” Ubial added.
For now, the PRC has the capacity of up to 20,000 saliva tests which can expand to 42,000.
According to the agency, saliva testing is cheaper by 50 percent than swab test. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday reiterated its call on the public to be more responsible when visiting public and leisure areas amid the enforcement of COVID-19 Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila.
PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar made the appeal following reports of individuals ignoring public health protocols while visiting the Manila Bay Dolomite Beach.
“Paulit-ulit ang ating paalala sa publiko na mahigpit na sumunod sa minimum health standards lalo na kung nasa pampublikong lugar o pasyalan gaya ng Dolomite Beach,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“Nauunawaan ko ang kagustuhan ng ating mga kababayan na makalabas ng kanilang mga tahanan, subalit kung hindi tayo mag-iingat ay hindi malabong tumaas na naman ang kaso ng COVID-19 at mapilitan na naman ang gobyerno na maghigpit sa mga protocols,” he added.
The PNP chief said he has tasked concerned police offices and units to deply enough personnel to public areas to help the marshals in implementing safety standards and controlling the crowd.
“Inatasan ko na ang ating unit commanders na siguraduhin na sapat ang bilang ng ating kapulisan sa mga pampublikong lugar upang matiyak ang pagsunod sa minimum public health safety na siya din namang ipinapakiusap sa ating ng Department of Health,” Eleazar said.
He, however, reminded police officers to observe maximum tolerance, especially to those who will be caught violating the protocols.
The national government downgraded Metro Manila’s alert status to Level 3 amid the decrease in COVID-19 infections. This will be in effect until the end of October.
Under Alert Level 3, several establishments are allowed to operate at 30% indoor venue capacity only for fully vaccinated individuals, and 50% outdoor venue capacity, provided that all employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Minors aged 17 and below are now allowed to go to Quezon Memorial Circle, the Quezon City government said.
In an advisory, the city government said that minors will now be allowed to take a stroll in the park provided that they are accompanied by their parent or guardian at all times.
It, however, said that the park will only accommodate up to 30 percent of its capacity.
The Metro Manila Council (MMC) earlier said that the intrazonal and interzonal travel of minors is now allowed as long as they are accompanied by adults.
The easing of travel restrictions for minors follows the government’s move to place Metro Manila under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31.
Under Alert Level 3, more establishments have been allowed to resume operations at 30 percent capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, and 50 percent outdoor capacity, provided that all employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
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