PH to receive additional 1,000 vials of remdesivir for WHO solidarity trials

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(FILES) This file photograph taken on April 8, 2020, shows a vial of the drug ‘remdesivir’ during a press conference concerning the start of a study with the Ebola drug to treat severely ill patients afflicted with coronavirus COVID-19. (Photo by Ulrich Perrey / POOL / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said that the Philippines is set to receive another 1,000 vials of the antiviral drug remdesivir for the ongoing solidarity trials of the World Health Organization.

In an online press briefing, DOH Undersecretary and spokeswoman Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the additional vials of the antiviral drug are already the third shipment coming from the WHO.

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“Yung shipment ng remdesivir ay parating na, pati ang interferon (The shipment of remdesivir is already on its way, as well as of interferon). And this would be the 3rd shipment of remdesivir to our country where we are going to receive 1,000 vials coming from the WHO,” she said.

In the WHO solidarity trials, participating countries, including the Philippines, will compare the effectiveness of several drugs used in COVID-19 treatment.

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Vergeire also said that as of September 7, 1,009 “moderate to severe” COVID-19 patients are enrolled in the trials. The patients are from 24 study sites or hospitals in the National Capital Region,  Cebu, Davao, Batangas and Baguio.

Meanwhile, Vergeire bared a plan to include an additional drug to see if it is effective against COVID-19.

“So ito po, binago rin yung protocols, may bagong gamot po na idadagdag,” Vergeire said.

(So the protocols have been changed. There is another drug that will be included.)

“But we will be informing all of you kapag na-finalize na yung protocol (if the protocol has been finalized),” she added.

As of Wednesday, the Philippines has 272,934 COVID-19 cases, with 207,858 recoveries and 4,732 deaths.

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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