Zamboanga City allows Covid-19 saliva test

INTERCEPTED. The 74th Infantry Battalion intercepts 21 individuals from Sitio Limbaguhan, Tungawan, Zamboanga City on Thursday (April 8, 2021) at the Bucana Patrol Base in Barangay Tictapul due to lack of documents. Saliva-based reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests are now allowed for interzonal and intrazonal travels in the city. (Photo courtesy of 74IB)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Saliva-based reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test as an alternative to the conventional method has been allowed here as a requirement for interzonal and intrazonal travels.

The approval is contained in Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar’s Executive Order 649-2021 on Friday.

Only licensed laboratories and certified by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine are allowed to perform saliva-based tests.

The order takes effect immediately and shall remain in force for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis unless otherwise lifted, amended, or superseded.

Salazar reiterated her appeal to strictly comply with Covid-19 protocols to prevent the possibility of lockdowns.

“We need to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed or operate in full capacity like in the National Capital Region and prevent medical front-liners affected by Covid-19,” Salazar said in a statement on Saturday.

“Avoid unnecessary travel and social gathering, drinking and eating in public. Wear mask and face shield and frequently sanitize hands,” she added.

The local Covid-19 tracker showed the city still has 283 active cases, 4,093 recoveries out of 4,573 confirmed infections, and 197 deaths as of April 8. (PNA)

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