PH gets nod to join WHO’s solidarity trials for COVID-19 treatment
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines may now join other countries in a collaborative effort organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop an effective treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Health (DOH) announced Thursday.
The health department said it received a go signal from the Single Joint Research Ethics Board (SJREB) on April 17 join the trials consisting of over 100 countries.
SJREB is a unit organized by the DOH to conduct a harmonized review of health-related research protocols.
In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the trials will be conducted in 20 hospitals nationwide including at least 500 patients.
“Magbibigay kami ng information bukas kung talagang nakumpleto namin ang lahat ng dokumentong kailangan para makapagumpisa bukas yung trial,” Vergeire said.
(We will provide information by tomorrow if we have completed all the necessary documents to start the clinical trials tomorrow.)
The study is in line with WHO’s rapid global search for drugs that can treat the novel coronavirus that has infected more than 2.5 million globally.
The clinical trial will test four different drugs or combinations — remdesivir, a combination of two drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir, the two drugs plus interferon beta, and chloroquine – and will compare their effectiveness to what is called standard of care, that is, the regular support hospitals treating COVID-19 patients use now.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte offered P10-million reward to any Filipino who will discover a vaccine against SARS CoV-2 or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, is the virus that causes COVID-19.
To date, the Philippines now has 6,710 cases of COVID-19, including 693 recoveries and 446 deaths.
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