Covid-19: Health Ministry approves ‘deep throat saliva’ method as alternative to swab test


PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has approved the usage of “deep throat saliva” as Covid-19 test samples.

Using this method, those taking their Covid-19 test will have to draw out saliva from within their throat, which will then be spat out into a specimen cup.

This is an alternative way to collect samples from a patient, other than the usual “swab test” method.

“This deep throat saliva sampling method is safe and not invasive if compared to the nasopharyngeal (nose) and oropharyngeal (throat) swab.

“It will also speed up testing and increase the number of Covid-19 screenings.

“This method is also ‘self-collected’, and therefore it will save on the use of personal protective equipment, ” said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba in a statement Thursday (Feb 18).

The minister said many countries have been using the deep-throat saliva samples for Covid-19 testings, adding that it is “cheaper” and “consistent”.

Dr Adham said the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) has completed a study on saliva sampling and has concluded that it is suitable for the ministry’s RT-PCR (reverse transcription-poymerase chain reaction) tests.

“The IMR is also in the midst of evaluating the usage of saliva samples for RTK-Ag (antigen rapid test kits) tests, ” he said.

The ministry, said Dr Adham, will begin deep-throat saliva sampling at its hospitals, before spreading to other health facilities.

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