4 hospitals to hold Avigan testing | Inquirer News

4 hospitals to hold Avigan testing

By: - Reporter / @jovicyeeINQ
/ 05:36 AM August 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has selected four hospitals in Metro Manila where the Japanese antiflu drug Avigan will be tested as a possible cure for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Wednesday that the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Santa Ana Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Quirino Memorial Medical Center had been chosen as sites for the nine-month clinical trial slated to begin on Aug. 17.


The trial, to be overseen by Regina Berba, PGH hospital infection control unit chief, will look into Avigan’s potential to treat COVID-19 patients.

100 patients

The Japanese government earlier delivered doses enough for 100 patients.


Vergeire said only patients aged 18 to 74 would be enrolled in the trial. To be excluded are those with heart and kidney problems and those with bacterial infections.

Currently, the Philippines is only using remdesivir in its clinical trials.

The country stopped using hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir last month following the World Health Organization’s findings that they did not help improve the condition of hospitalized patients when compared with standard of care.

On Wednesday, the DOH recorded an additional 4,444 coronavirus infections, pushing the current nationwide total to 143,749 cases.

Earlier, researchers from the University of the Philippines projected the average total by Aug. 12 to be 144,700 cases. In their updated projection, total cases by the end of the month could range from a low of 149,258 to a high of 209,091.

Of the new cases submitted by 91 of the 100 accredited laboratories, 2,618 came from Metro Manila. Laguna trailed with 233, while Cavite reported 227, Rizal 174, and Bulacan 129.

Active cases

As of Wednesday, the country had 72,348 active cases, of which 91.3 percent were mild, 7.3 percent asymptomatic, 0.6 severe, and 0.7 critical.


Majority of the new cases, or 3,294, fell ill between July 30 and Aug. 12, while 970 got sick between July 1 and 29.

An additional 636 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 68,997. The death toll, however, climbed to 2,404 as 93 patients succumbed to the severe respiratory disease.

Of the newly reported fatalities, 13 died this month, 49 in July, 30 in June and one in May. Central Visayas accounted for most of the new fatalities, 67, followed by Metro Manila (16), Zamboanga (3), Bicol (2), Western Visayas (2), Davao (2) and Calabarzon (1).

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Avigan testing, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, covid-19 cure
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