Qatar launches new saliva-based Covid-19 test for children

  • 1 month ago
Qatar launches new saliva-based Covid-19 test for children

The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has announced that Qatar has become one of the first countries in the world to launch a new saliva-based Covid-19 test for children.

The saliva-based test is less intrusive for children as it does not require a swab to be inserted into the nose and back of the throat like the current standard swab, the MoPH said on social media on Monday.

Saliva tests can be easily completed by transferring saliva from the mouth into a sample pot, it explained, adding that studies around the world have been looking at the use of saliva only swabs and the results have confirmed their effectiveness.

In a video posted by the ministry, Dr Einas al-Kuwari, chairperson of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Hamad Medical Corporation, said: "The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a gold standard test for diagnosing Covid-19 and is now available with an easier sampling method. The test can now be done by collecting a sample of the patient's saliva after spitting."

She continued, "This new method is very easy and highly accurate, and suitable for children and school students. It does not cause any kind of pain or fear for them.


"Therefore, we encourage all parents not to hesitate to have their children undergo the PCR testing to ensure they are free of the virus."

"As for adults, we will continue to collect nasal and throat swabs as usual," she added.