Condition of Filipina nurse found positive of MERS-CoV gets better

admin   •   February 13, 2015   •   3520

FILE PHOTO: DOH Acting Secretary Jeanette Garin (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Thursday that the Filipina nurse from Saudi Arabia who was found positive with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is now getting better.

DOH Health Acting Secretary Janette Garin admitted that it was quite hard for them to treat the patient because she is one month pregnant.

“Those medicines which are prohibited to pregnants, we do not give this, and the baby is also being monitored by the obstetrician,” Dr. Garin said in an interview.

However the department assured that the said nurse is closely being monitored by the doctors and is currently confined at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine or RITM.

Aside from the nurse, her husband and her other relatives were also admitted to the hospital.

After undergoing tests, results showed that they are negative with the virus.

Garin reiterates that the public has nothing to worry because the department is doing all the efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.

“There is no reason to panic, the patient is being taken care of,” she said.

Based on the data of DOH, there are almost fifty people that have direct contact with the Filipina nurse.

February 1, when the 32-year old nurse came back to the Philippines.

February 10, when she was confined in a negative pressure room in RITM, due to fever, body aches, cough and difficulty in breathing which are symptoms of the disease.

Meanwhile, 63 of the 225 Saudia airline flight 860 passengers were already traced by the DOH.

The department is continuously calling on to other passengers to coordinate with them and undergo medical examination.

For other passengers of Saudia airline flight 860, just coordinate with DOH hotline numbers 711-1001 or 711-1002. (Joan Nano / UNTV News)

IATF approves Phl participation in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials

Maris Federez   •   May 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Upon the recommendation of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the proposed participation of the Philippines in clinical trials that seek to formulate a potential vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Based on IATF Resolution No.39 dated May 22, 2020, the task force has also ordered the creation of a sub-technical working group which will be led by the DOST.

The group will be coordinating with the four collaborating organizations composed of the Department of Health (DOH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), and the World Health Organization (WHO) with regard to the said clinical trials.

The IATF has also issued a directive to the FDA to facilitate the processing of necessary permits for the conduct of the clinical trials in the country.

The collaborating organizations for the clinical trials are the Adimmune Corporation, Academia Sinica, Chinese Academy of Science- Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, the Sinopharm – Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, and the Beijing Institute.

Once the clinical trials are undertaken, these will be included in the FDA’s requirements for the registration process for the vaccine and the application for certificate of registration to make the vaccine available in the market.

The Philippines has initially participated in the WHO’s clinical trials, which include the testing of off-label drugs that show potential of being effective against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the IATF has also approved the plans of the DOST to construct research centers for the local vaccine research development.

These include the Virology S&T Institute at the New Clark City in Tarlac and the reactivation of the Pharmaceutical Development Unit of the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute. —(from the report of Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

Typhoon Ambo destroys DOH-CHD facility in Bicol region

Maris Federez   •   May 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory (BRDRL) on Saturday reported the damage that its bio-safety cabinet has sustained in the onslaught of Typhoon Ambo in the region.

The BRDRL, which is operating under the Department of Health-Center for Health Development – Bicol, said the bio-safety cabinet is the machine it uses in processing the RT-PCR testing kits.

Because of this, the BRDRL will suspend accepting samples until the machine’s exhaust duct is repaired.

The 146 remaining samples that are already pending analysis in the laboratory as of Friday (May 15) will be brought to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila, it said.

Although the DOH has yet to determine when the BRDRL will be back to normal operation, the agency assured that they are doing everything to fix the problem and will have the machine repaired as soon as possible. — (with details from Correspondent Allan Manansala) /mbmf

RITM receives additional COVID-19 funding from France

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 1, 2020

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has received additional funding from the French government for its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response.

In a post, the Embassy of France to the Philippines said the French government has allocated 2 million euros or an estimate of P109.4 million to support the COVID-19 responses of seven frontline laboratories located in five Southeast Asian countries.

One of the beneficiaries include the RITM in the Philippines.

“Within the framework of this funding, seven laboratories will benefit from direct support for the response phase of the COVID-19 epidemic for the following aspects: reinforcement of equipment, purchase of diagnostic kits, acquisition of personal protective equipment, reinforcement in human resources, training and transfer of skills, deployment of mass testing complementing current molecular diagnosis, and support for data processing,” the French Embassy said in a statement.

Other countries who benefited from the additional fund include Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. AAC

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