KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) will use a new sampling method for Covid-19 tests to increase screening, saying it is less invasive than uncomfortable nasal and throat swabs.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said the deep throat saliva sampling procedure for RT-PCR tests uses self-collected samples of saliva produced from deep within the throat.
As the samples are self-collected from the person being tested, the deep throat saliva sampling technique will also save on personal protective equipment (PPE) gear worn by health care workers conducting Covid-19 testing.
“Sampling with saliva for Covid-19 tests has been done in a few countries; it is cheaper and one of the most consistent methods in collecting samples,” Dr Adham said in a statement today.
He added that the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) has found the deep throat saliva sampling method appropriate for the coronavirus RT-PCR tests and is currently evaluating if that method is also suitable for rapid antigen test kits.
MOH will use the deep saliva sampling technique at its hospitals before expanding to other health facilities.