The Department of Health (DOH) is working with the United Nations Office for Project Services for the delivery of Avigan doses which will be used for clinical trials to determine the drug’s efficacy against COVID-19.
In his report to Congress on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte said the DOH aims to secure Avigan doses sufficient for at least 100 patients.
The clinical trials will be conducted at the Sta. Ana Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Metro Manila.
Duterte had said the DOH would spend P18 million for the clinical trials of Avigan, also known as favipiravir. The drug was developed by Japanese firm Fujifilm Holdings Corp.
The President also reported that the Philippine General Hospital has started to enroll patients who will participate in the virgin coconut oil clinical trials, which will run for a year.
In other developments, Duterte said a total of 15,386 contact tracing team members have been trained by the DOH. Contact tracing aims to determine the people in close contact with an individual who is infected with COVID-19.
“To increase the existing pool of contact tracers in our country, the DOH conducts batches of training of trainers on contact tracing and ensures that RESUs [Regional Epidemiological and Surveillance Units] have at least one trained trainer on contact tracing,” Duterte said.
The DOH earlier said the Philippines is short of 94,000 contact tracers. -NB, GMA News