By Dhel Nazario
As preparation for the establishment of the Virology Science Institute of the Philippines, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has begun research related to virology.
During the Laging Handa press briefing on Wednesday, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Pena said that the studies are not just for COVID-19.
“We have started the studies related to virology not necessarily, not exclusively for COVID-19 alone but for other viruses,” he said.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has expressed support to the establishment of a Virology S&T Institute in New Clark City; and the reactivation of the Pharmaceutical Development Unit at DOST-ITDI (Industrial Technology Development Institute) as a Tuklas Lunas Center for Pharmaceuticals Development.
According to Resolution No. 39 the research centers can initiate and strengthen local vaccine development towards the country’s vaccine self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
Meanwhile, the science and technology secretary shared also during the briefing that the agency is still trying out natural products that can help hasten the recovery of COVID-19 patients or ease their suffering.
“We are still in the stage wherein we are trying some natural products that can be therapeutics or can speed the recovery of our COVID-19 patients,” he said.
“We have been trying VCO in two locations. We have started already the formulations that will be tested initially in vitro in our tawa-tawa and lagundi which has been known cures for other viral-related diseases,” he added.