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Virgin coconut oil vs. COVID-19? Study in pipeline, says Nograles

The possibility of using virgin coconut oil (VCO) to fight the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is being studied by experts in the Philippines, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Monday.

"As to the efficacy of virgin coconut oil in combating COVID-19, a leading proponent—an academician in one of our top universities—is spearheading this initiative, and the National University of Singapore has accepted to test VCO against COVID-19," Nograles said at a press briefing in Malacañang.

"We are now preparing sending samples of virgin coconut oil for testing within the week," he added.

In China where more than 77,000 had been infected, the antiviral drug Favilavir was approved for marketing last week after it showed efficacy in treating patients with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health said that Favilavir will have to get the approval of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippines' Food and Drug Administration first before it can be made available in the local market.

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. It was first detected in China's Wuhan City last December.

The first vaccine targeting the new virus could be available within 18 months, according to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. — BM, GMA News