Northbound Philippines News

Ilocos Norte approves saliva testing for Covid-19

LAOAG CITY – All entrants in the province of Ilocos Norte may now opt for saliva testing as it is now accepted in provincial border checkpoints.

Rhona Ysabel Daoang, head of the Ilocos Norte government’s communication and media office, confirmed this on Thursday, noting the saliva-based reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) test is valid for at least 60 hours from the time the sample was taken.

“The saliva test is good for 60 hours just like the nasopharyngeal RT PCR,” Daoang said following an announcement of the Philippine Red Cross in Ilocos Norte that it is now offering saliva tests to interested individuals.

Pegged at PHP2,000 per test, interested individuals are advised to make an online appointment at least 48 hours before schedule.

The link is available at https://book.redcross.org.ph/…/ilocos-norte-saliva-test/ or scan the QR (quick response) code, enter your name and email address then select an available date and time slot. Payment methods can be made available through credit or debit, Gcash, Grab Pay, or PayMongo as well as deposit or transfer directly to the Philippine Red Cross account at Banco de Oro with account number 004538015635.

With the surge of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the province, the Ilocos Norte government has increased its testing capacity to accommodate the volume of authorized persons outside residence (APOR) and returning residents who need to be tested.

From 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Covid-19 testing centers at the provincial borders in Pancian as well as in Badoc are ready to accommodate border crossers.

Just recently, the district hospitals in Bangui and Dingras towns, including the quarantine facilities of the Department of Public Works and Highways have also their own Covid-19 testing centers that offer a cheaper fee of PHP500 per test for local residents and PHP800 for non-residents.

A separate antigen testing for tourists is also available at the Tourist Triage South located at the Pinili Visitor Center along the national highway or just about an eight-minute drive from the Badoc gateway for tourists to process their entry into the province.

As a general protocol of the province, a negative RT PCR with swab collected within 60 hours of arrival is required before one can enter the province.

Those who are coming from the National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus), however, are not yet allowed to enter the province until further notice.  Leilanie Adriano / PNA – northboundasia.com

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