Anti-COVID-19 drug?

April 16, 2020

UNKNOWN to many, scientists and experts have been working round-the-clock to come up with an anti-corona virus vaccine as the deadly disease continues to terrorize many of the world’s countries.

As a victim of the virus, which originated from Wuhan City in China, the Philippines is ready to participate in clinical trials of Avigan, a Japanese anti-viral drug for potential treatment of COVID-19.

President Duterte made the announcement during last Tuesday’s special video conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 held at Malacanang.

A member of ASEAN, this impoverished Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million English-speaking people is ready to participate in clinical trials and medical studies of potential vaccines and medicines.

“We are confident our scientists and experts within and outside our region will rise to this colossal challenge. A vaccine and/or treatment must be found sooner than later,” said the tough-talking Duterte.

Japan has begun conducting clinical tests to determine the effectiveness and safety of Avigan.

It was developed by a subsidiary of Japan-based Fujifilm Holdings Corp. and seen as an effective drug in treating the dreaded COVID-19, according to researchers at Wuhan University in China.

Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said his government plans to offer Avigan free to nations being ravaged by the coronavirus disease-2019, including the Philippines.

With the increasing number of people with the disease, Filipinos have no choice but to work in unison with the rest of the world in developing an effective drug to kill the unseen enemy – the coronavirus.

This would demonstrate to all our determination to stop the spread of the virus, which has paralyzed many of the world’s nations from the rich and mighty to the poor and lowly, like the Philippines.

Truth is, the health crisis must be addressed now – and fast – if we are to speed up our socio-economic development as the end of the six-year administration of President Duterte fast approaches.