PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte claimed on Thursday night that “killer antibodies” allegedly capable of curing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will be rolled out in a few days.
“The experiments are getting into high gear. Baka makakita tayo ng lunas in a few days,” he said in a televised address.
The chief executive earlier claimed that pharmaceutical giants had developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19 set to roll out in May and vowed to lift the Luzon-wide quarantine once they are delivered to the Philippines.
“Sabi, ang bakuna is about 2021 [lalabas]. Pero ‘yung ibang medisina, ‘yung mga killer antibodies, andiyan na ata,” he said. “Kung mabili ‘yan in mass production, mabigyan ng quota ‘yung Pilipinas, I will lift the [quarantine]. Ang medisina lang kailangan ko.”
The president also claimed that horses have more potent antibodies that are being explored as a possible cure for COVID-19.
“Usually, magkuha ka kasi doon sa patay, kunan mo ng dugo niya, i-inject mo doon sa kabayo. ‘Yung kabayo, kaya niyang nang ano… Dahan-dahan lang, hanggang ma-immune. 'Pag marami nang antibodies ‘yung kabayo, doon na kunin ‘yung maraming [dugo].”
Duterte clarified, however, that he is not a doctor: “abogado lang ako.”
Earlier on Thursday, health authorities repeatedly stressed that no cure for COVID-19 has been discovered yet.
“Wala pa talaga tayong magic drug na napag-aralan na na-establish sa mga clinical trial na epektibo at safe na gamitin para sa COVID-19,” Dr. Marissa Alejandria of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases said.
She explained that while no cure for COVID-19 has been found yet, some medicines already in the market are being used as investigational or repurposed drugs, such as the antimalarial chloroquine or HIV medications ritonavir and lopinavir.
“Itong mga gamot na ito, nakita sa laboratoryo na puwede siyang labanan ‘yung virus, ‘yung SARS-CoV-2… pero lahat 'yan ay sa eksperimento lang at hindi pa siya 'yung tinatawag natin na clinical trial para masabi na sila talaga ang pinaka-epektibong gamot sa COVID,” Alejandria explained.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire likewise clarified that the antibody treatments discussed by Duterte in his briefing on Monday are still being studied by experts