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Philippines caseload tops 10,000; hundred people join clinical trial

Philippines caseload tops 10,000; hundred people join clinical trial

DPA
Manila
The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines has topped 10,000, the government said on Wednesday, as it announced that 100 patients will join a clinical trial using the anti-flu drug Avigan in treating the highly contagious disease.
The Department of Health said 320 new confirmed cases were added to the national tally of coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 10,004. Twenty-one additional mortalities were recorded, pushing the death toll to 658.
The department was preparing a protocol to choose the patients to be included in the trial for the drug Avigan from Japan, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
“We have the go signal to conduct the clinical trial in the coming days,” she said.
“The Japanese government is providing supply for 100 patients. We already have the clearances from different institutions in the country.” Inclusion in the trial will be voluntary, Vergeire added.
The Philippines is also participating in solidarity trials of the World Health Organization for four other medicines against CoOVID-19 and some vaccines.
Vergeire said that, according to data, the Philippines appears to have slowed down the spread of the coronavirus since a lockdown was imposed on the country’s most populous island, Luzon, in mid-March.
“Our case-doubling time has slowed down from two to three days to five days,” she said.
“In other areas, it’s 7.5 days. This is a good indication that we are starting to flatten the curve, but it is too early to say that we have flattened the curve.”
Vergeire said experts stressed that the Philippines needs to step up its testing capacities to at least 15,000 COVID-19 tests per day to determine the actual state of the outbreak in the country.
“We still need to be careful and observe physical distancing,” she added.

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