THE Health department on Friday said it will adjust protocols for its trials on the anti-flu drug Avigan after facing challenges in recruiting patients, with so far just four participants out of the 100 target.
In an online media forum on Friday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said the problem is getting patients with mild cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as not many of them are being admitted in hospitals.
“The trials are done in hospital settings on mild cases but we know right now, there are not many mild cases being admitted to the hospital,” she said, adding that there has also been a decline in the overall number of COVID-19 cases.
Ms. Vergeire said the clinical trial team has approved the recruitment expansion in princple.
“While we are waiting for the revision on protocol, we are continuing the existing protocol,” she said.
New COVID-19 patients recorded on Friday stood at 2,092, bringing the total to 391,809, of which 34,374 were active cases, based on Health department data.
Of the active cases, 83.6% were mild cases while 9.8% were asymptomatic. Critical and severe cases were at 4.2% and 2.4%, respectively.
There were 462 new recoveries, bringing the total to 349,974.
Total mortality count reached 7,461 with 52 new deaths.
Meanwhile, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña said in the same forum that the World Health Organization (WHO) has yet to give a specific date on when the Philippines will take part in the Solidarity Trials for COVID-19 vaccines.
“Wala pa silang inaannounce kung aling mga vaccines ang makakasama at kung anong protocol ang susundin (They have not announced what vaccines will be included and what protocols will be followed),” he said.
Mr. Dela Peña, however, said they still expect the trials in the country to begin by December. — Gillian M. Cortez