MANILA-- The government said Tuesday it was keen on tapping herbal medicine as possible supplement treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with three clinical trials underway.
Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña said the government is looking at the effectivity of virgin coconut oil, lagundi, and tawa-tawa as supplemental treatment for COVID-19.
"Meron tayong sinusubukang mga natural products kabilang diyan ang VCO, lagundi at tawa-tawa," he said during a Palace press briefing.
(We are trying natural products like VCO, lagundi, and tawa-tawa.)
"Pareho pong may anti-viral properties yang tatlo na yan kaya inaprubahan natin na subukan for clinical trials," he added.
(The three have anti-viral properties and were approved for clinical trials.)
The clinical trial for VCO has already started for in the Sta. Rosa Community Hospital for mild cases of COVID-19, while the trial for severe cases in the Philippine General Hospital has yet to begin.
Dela Peña said the Department of Science and Technology aims to include 90 participants for the clinical trials in the Sta. Rosa Community Hospital, of whom there are already 30 at present.
"Doon po sa 30 na yun, medyo maganda naman po ang indications kaya lang hindi pa kami makapag-conclude dahil hindi pa tapos ang study," he said.
(Among the 30, there are good indications but we cannot conclude yet because the study is still ongoing.)
The DOST meanwhile is still waiting for the approval of the Food and Drug Administration to run the clinical trials for lagundi and tawa-tawa.
"Inaantay lang namin na mag-go signal ang FDA both for the case of lagundi and tawa-tawa," Dela Peña said.
(We are just waiting for the go-signal of FDA for both lagundi and tawa-tawa.)
Metro Manila and nearby provinces Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal reverted to a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine on Tuesday after healthcare workers asked for a breather as virus infections surged.
As of Monday, the Philippines has recorded 106,330 cases of COVID-19, with many hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients.