MANILA - Two Philippine senators who have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) said Thursday they will donate their plasma to help the ongoing research for treatment of the illness.
Senators Sonny Angara and Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri said they are heeding the call of the Philippine General Hospital for COVID-19 survivors to submit blood for its experimental treatment for patients with severe symptoms of the disease using convalescent plasma therapy.
The PGH, one of the country’s referral hospitals for the disease, earlier said plasma from COVID-19 survivors, which is extracted from the blood, contains antibodies against the disease.
Similar experiments have been carried out in China and South Korea as scientists scramble to develop the vaccine against COVID-19.
"'Pag nakuha ko na 'yun [formal notice of second swab test], puwede na ako mag-donate ng dugo ko, plasma para sa mga pag-aaral na sabi nila," Angara said.
The senator tested positive for the coronavirus on March 26. He was released from the hospital on April 6 after recovering from the illness.
Angara is completing his mandatory 14-day quarantine and awaiting results from his second swab test.
Zubiri, meanwhile, hopes to celebrate his birthday on April 13 by doing the same act.
"Pangako ko sa Panginoon na kung mabuhay tayo sa virus na ito… mag-donate po sa PGH para magamit po nila sa plasma testing," he said.
Zubiri was confirmed to have caught the COVID-19 on March 16. A follow-up test indicated he is already negative, while the result of a subsequent one is still unknown as of press time.
The two lawmakers also vowed to file measures that will strengthen the country’s medical and scientific defenses against infectious diseases. The measures will include proposals that will fund research on possible vaccine against COVID-19.
- - Report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News