Health Min: Saliva test will be used to screen for Covid-19

By S. Harrish

THE Health Ministry will soon start using saliva samples to test for Covid-19 infections.

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said this method was safe and non-invasive compared with the current nasal and oral swab methods, and it also speeds up the screening process.

He said in a statement that this method was important as it was self-collected and can save on the use of personal protection equipment.

According to the Institute for Medical Research, saliva samples have been found suitable for RT-PCR testing.

He added that the Health Ministry will start using the method in hospitals first.

Meanwhile in a related development, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Covid-19 vaccination consent form that was leaked online yesterday was not the final document.

The form was posted on the internet yesterday and it prompted the ministry to label it as “fake news”.

It caused a controversy due to the indemnification clause and caveats contained.

Dr Noor Hisham said a consent form was necessary as Covid-19 vaccination was voluntary and that such forms are also used in other countries implementing Covid-19 immunisation programmes.

“The form ensures that vaccine recipients fully understand the benefits and risks of vaccination,” he said in a statement today.