Duterte, Abe discussed possible treatment for COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have discussed an anti-flu drug that may possibly treat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a Palace official said.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Wednesday the discussion on anti-flu drug Avigan happened during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit with China, Japan, and South Korea.
“The President had an exchange with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regarding this drug, and during the meeting reiterated that the Philippines is ready to participate in clinical trials of potential vaccines like Avigan,” Nograles said in a virtual briefing.
Avigan, also known as Favipiravir, is among the drugs being studied to treat a patient infected with COVID-19.
“According to Prime Minister Abe, there are 50 countries that are interested in studying this drug further. Prime Minister Abe gave special mention to President Duterte in this regard,” Nograles further said.
Duterte on Tuesday participated in two virtual Asean Summits to tackle COVID-19.
The President called for an enhanced cooperation in developing a treatment as he vowed the Philippines’ participation in studying for a possible cure.
He also noted all countries must have “fair and easy access to vaccines and treatments.”
On a global scale, COVID-19 has infected over 1.9 million people and has claimed the lives of over 120,000 individuals.
In the Philippines, the number of COVID-19 cases has reached 5,223 with 335 fatalities.
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