A NEGROS Occidental official on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, said a new laboratory that will cater to reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and saliva testing for the novel coronavirus will be operational on the second week of February in the town of Valladolid.
Lawyer Rayfrando Diaz, provincial administrator, said the provincial government will partner with Safeguard Diagnostics that is now conducting proficiency tests located in Valaldolid.
The laboratory offers a cheaper rate, with only P2,500 for its RT-PCR test.
At the Provincial Molecular laboratory located at Teresita Jalandoni Provincial Hospital, the total cost for RT-PCR is pegged at nearly P5,000. In some private labs, it cost P4,000 to P4,500, Diaz said.
Diaz also said patients will have the option to choose either RT-PCR or saliva testing at the said laboratory, which is privately run in partnership with the province.
He said the province welcomes the saliva test, a technology being introduced by the Philippine Red Cross. Although the only reservation they have with the saliva test is its 94-percent accuracy, he said it is non-intrusive compared to the RT-PCR.
The new lab will also offer a lower rate for saliva tests, he said.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he supports the move of the government as long as the new type of test is effective and cheaper.
The current RT-PCR tests are currently priced from P3,800 to P5,000, while saliva tests only cost from P1,500 to P2,000.
Lacson hoped that the new type of test will also become available soon for local government units.