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Philippines plans use of antivirals, antimalarials on COVID-19

The Department of Health, the Philippine College of Physicians, and the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Disease (PSMID) are drafting guidelines on the use of antimalarial drugs against the COVID-19, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

In a circular released Saturday, Duque explained that the protocol will entail the "off-label use" of the antiviral and antimalarial drugs which may have potential negative side effects.

Due to this, Duque advised health authorities and hospital administrators to monitor the use of the drug.

Duque further said that consent from the patient or a legally authorized representative must be obtained before the drug will be administered.

"Until the guidelines for the Philippines are released... healthcare providers shall continue implementing existing PSMID clinical practice guidelines," Duque said.

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 in the country have climbed to 307. — Joahna Lei Casilao/DVM, GMA News