Researchers in Philippines are working to see the possible use of saliva as a sample for coronavirus testing.

Maria Rosario Vergeire, a health department official, said Wednesday Filipino researchers were working on the “method of collecting saliva samples for almost a month now,” daily Phil Star reported.

The archipelago nation Wednesday reported 4,650 new cases and 111 deaths due to the virus. The national death toll climbed to 2,795 after fresh fatalities, while the number of total infections hit 173,774.

“That is being studied by our lab experts’ panel. We forwarded it to our laboratory experts’ panel to study and to look at the different experiences of countries using this method,” Vergeire said.

“Our lab experts’ panel is looking into this because it will be easier if saliva is used. But the panel also discovered the process is tedious because there may be food particles in saliva. So, we are still studying many things about this,” Vergeire added.

Amid the pandemic, polymerase chain reaction using a nose or throat swab is a standard testing procedure across the world besides rapid anti-body tests where doctors use blood samples.

The US and Israel have also tested “use of saliva for determining coronavirus.”

The COVID-19 has also affected Philippines national police force. According to the police, around 3,000 of its personnel have been infected by COVID-19, while 13 personnel have died due to the infection.

As many as 2,221 police personnel have recovered from the disease.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus cases climbed to 541 in autonomous Bangsamoro region. A statement by the government in the Muslim-majority southern Philippines said the death toll has jumped to 14. There are 92 active cases in the region.

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