By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

On Tuesday, Japan’s health minister Katsunobu Kato said in a news conference that a saliva-based PCR test for COVID-19 has been approved and is available.

Health minister Katsunobu Kato

“The new test shows high rate of concordance between PCR swab tests of the nose and throat and saliva-based in cases within nine days of the first sign of symptoms”, Katsunobu said.

Officials say the new testing collection method will greatly reduce the burden on patients.

With the standard PCR test methodology, the testing capacity is about 25,800 per day. The government is issuing guidelines to ramp up the testing in local governments.

To date, Japan has reported 16,779 COVID-19 positive cases, including 900 deaths.

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