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Duterte claims big pharma has developed 'antibody medicine' vs. COVID-19

President Rodrigo Duterte on early Tuesday claimed a giant pharmaceutical company is ready to roll out an 'antibody medicine' for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by May.

“Mayroon nang medisina, antibody, ang isang giant pharmaceutical pero hindi galing sa tao. Sabi by May, they would start to market it,” he said in a nationally televised address.

However, the chief executive said the Philippines is “on the last ladder”

“Ang problema sabi nga, we are on the last ladder. Ang mauna niyan 'yung mga mayayaman,” Duterte said.

He added that if the medicine is available then he will lift the enhanced community quarantine in the Luzon region.

Earlier, the Philippine General Hospital urged those who recovered from the disease to donate blood to help other patients in critical condition.

After the call, many COVID-19 survivors in the country have come forward to donate blood with hopes that this will help other patients battling the disease to recover.

The antibodies that helped them defeat COVID1-19 will be transferred to other patients through the convalescent plasma transfusion, the PGH said.

Last Friday, US Drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co announced that it began clinical testing of therapies of the baricitinib drug and examine its efficacy and safety as a potential treatment for hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

It was reported in March that the first human trial to evaluate a vaccine that would be used against the coronavirus was conducted by US health officials. It would take 18 months though before a vaccine is available.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization announced that it would take a vaccine to "fully halt" the spread of COVID-19. -- BAP, GMA News