National Task Force (NTF) Deputy Chief Implementer and Testing Czar Vince Dizon on Sunday, Feb. 28, warned the public against fake coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests being sold online.
In an interview over DZMM, Dizon clarified that only the Philippines Red Cross (PRC) was given the authorization to conduct saliva tests.
“Our Department of Health (DOH) and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) do not authorize other saliva tests, such as saliva antigen and others,” he said in Filipino.
“When someone receives a negative result from a colorum saliva test, they will be lenient, they will no longer wear their mask or observe physical distancing. That’s very dangerous,” Dizon added.
The testing czar said he already reported those who were selling unauthorized saliva tests online to the DOH.
“Our regulators should control and arrest those who promote and sell these kind of unauthorized saliva tests,” Dizon added.
In February, PRC Chairman Senator Richard Gordon said fake COVID-19 test kits were reportedly sold at P1,000 each, half the price of the legitimate ones.
The accuracy of saliva testing is 98.23 percent, almost similar to the 99-percent accuracy of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
Results from the saliva test are also faster, from three to four hours, compared to the 12 to 24 hours of swab testing.
The non-invasive saliva tests can be booked through the PRC website.