About half of COVID-19 patients who received convalescent plasma showed speedy recovery, the spokesperson of Philippine General Hospital (PGH) said on Thursday.
PGH spokesperson Jonas del Rosario, during an interview on GMA Network’s Unang Hirit, said the health facility was now conducting a clinical trial for convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19.
READ: St. Luke's doctor donates plasma for COVID-19 patients
Del Rosario said the treatment was more effective when administered to patients before their condition worsened.
As they continue with the clinical trial, Del Rosario said PGH would also give plasma treatment to moderate COVID-19 cases.
However, the PGH is short on convalescent plasma supply as some survivors did not want to go back to the hospital due to the fear of catching the virus again.
Malacanang said the country’s borders remained closed to foreigners due to the pandemic, as it allayed fears of another deadly virus from China, the bubonic plague that killed millions of people in Europe in the mid-1300s.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque said foreign tourists and foreigners wanting to visit the country without valid reasons were not yet allowed to enter the country as part of the government’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In a press briefing, Roque said the government was taking the matter seriously after reports that a case of suspected bubonic plague emerged in Inner Mongolia, which is a part of China.
“Our borders are closed so we have nothing to worry about,” he said.
New Zealand donation
The New Zealand embassy in Manila donated a total of P800,000 to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) for its procurement of additional personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and front-liners.
The embassy said two Filipino students approached Ambassador Peter Kell and appealed for PPE upon hearing that the center was having a shortage of equipment.
In their letter to the ambassador, Santino, and Lorenzo Tanjutco, Grade 11 students from Everest Academy said: “Both of us strongly believe that in a time of crisis such as the pandemic, nations should work together to be able to support one another.”
The New Zealand embassy approached the NKTI through its executive director, Dr. Rose Liquete, to facilitate the donation, which was turned over by Kell himself on Thursday.
Face mask violators
The Quezon City government vowed to go after face mask violators to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Retired police general Elmo San Diego, Department of Public Order and Safety chief, however, said those who would lower their face masks momentarily just to eat or drink would be spared from apprehension.
Last Wednesday morning, GMA-7 broadcast journalist Howie Severino was apprehended by DPOS traffic enforcers when he was supposedly not wearing a face mask to take a drink along Mother Ignacia Street.
READ: Broadcaster Severino held for not wearing mask
San Diego clarified Severino did not go through a short seminar on COVID-19 when he was taken to the Amoranto Sports Complex, where hundreds of violators were brought. “It was just an interview validation,” he earlier told the Manila Standard.
Pasay City Mayor Imelda Rubiano reiterated her call for her constituents to strictly observe health and safety protocols as the number of COVID-19 cases in the city continued to rise.
As of July 8, the city’s Health Office recorded a total of 1,096 confirmed cases.
“Even if certain restrictions have been lifted, it’s not the time to let our guard down. COVID-19 is still here and it continues to infect a number of people,” said Rubiano.
According to Health Office’s surveillance and epidemiology unit, hardest hit among the villages were Barangay 193, which has 32 active confirmed cases; Barangay 183, 32 active confirmed cases; and Barangay 144, 39 active confirmed cases; Barangay 37, 20 active confirmed cases; and Barangay 169, 22 active confirmed cases.
“Let us not bring back the harrowing days of a lockdown, where curfew hours were longer and the movement of people and products were restricted,” Rubiano said.
READ: St. Luke’s Medical Center to use plasma machines for virus treatment