DOH approves procurement of Ronapreve by LGUs, hospitals

Maris Federez   •   November 16, 2021   •   427

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has issued an administrative order allowing hospitals and local government units to make direct purchases of Ronapreve to treat patients with COVID-19.

Administrative Order (AO) No 2021-0053 serves as Guidelines on the Procurement, Distribution, and Rational Drug Use of COVID-19 Drugs under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the country.

Prior to the issuance of the AO, the DOH is the only entity that can procure COVID-19 drugs with EUA.

“So for us to facilitate the process at hindi tayo magkaroon ng bottle neck to facilitate provisions of this drug in our hospitals at ma- decentralize natin, gumawa tayo ng Administrative Order. Di na kailangan na DOH ang bumili tapos magpapa-allocate pa sa lahat ng hospitals para mas mablis at magamit agad ng ating kababayang nangangailangan ang ganitong mga gamot,” said DOH spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“This AO serves to provide that authority to our implementing units so that they can procure on their own,” Vergeire further said.

Ronapreve is the very first COVID-19 treatment that was approved by the country’s Food and Drug Administration.

It can be used on patients 12 years old and older with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.

Unlike Mulnopiravir, Ronapreve is administered through intravenous infusion.

“It’s a combination of two antibodies, so kinokontra niya talga ang infection. It is given to patients with mild to moderate COVID-19,” said FDA Director-General Eric Domingo.

“When given at right time […] first 10 days of COVID symptoms, when it is given to the patient, it is given through intravenous infusion sa hospital, sa swero sya dinadaan. Ang nagiging nakita nila sa early results, it can decrease hospitalization and death by at least 70%,” Domingo added. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

PH gov’t to tap drug stores as COVID-19 vaccine booster sites

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is looking to tap drug stores to serve as COVID-19 vaccine booster sites in a bid to ramp up the administration of booster jabs in the country.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s meeting with some of his officials on Monday, Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 response Vince Dizon said the government will seek the help of pharmacies in the country following reports that some vaccination staff have also contracted the virus.

Dizon said the program, which would be dubbed “Resbakuna sa mga botika,” will be launched this week in the first seven pharmacies in Metro Manila.

The pilot run is set for January 20 to 21 in sites including Mercury Drug, Watsons, Rose Pharmacy, Southstar Drug, and the Generics Pharmacy, as well as Healthway and QualiMed.

After the weeklong run, it would then be expanded to other drugstores across the country, he added.

“We will start with 7 pharmacies in Metro Manila which we will launch on Thursday, January 20 and on Friday, January 21,” Dizon said.

“Mabilis po ito Mr. President, pagka-launch po natin, magpi-pilot po sila ng isang linggo, mag-eexpand na po tayo nang mabilis sa iba’t iba pang cities all over the country- Luzon, Visayas, at Mindanao- at sa iba’t ibang mga botika,” he added.

The program aims to assist local government units and the Department of Health with additional personnel for vaccination. It will also help decentralize the inoculation by having smaller but widely spread vaccination sites in the form of drugstores.

 

Philippines posts 28,471 new COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Tuesday logged 28,471 more COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

This is the first time in a week that the number of new COVID-19 infections fell below 30,000.

In its data, the DOH said that 27,735 of the newly reported cases occurred within the recent 14 days. Most infections were reported in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon.

The latest figure pushed the country’s number of active cases to 284,458 – 8,930 of which are asymptomatic, 270,784 are mild, 2,957 are moderate, 1,484 are severe, and 303 are in critical condition.

The positivity rate was at 43.4 percent, based on samples of 51,738 individuals on January 16.

Five laboratories failed to submit their data on time. These facilities contribute on average 1.7 percent of samples tested and 2.1 percent of positive cases.

Recoveries increased by 34,892, resulting in 2,933,338 total recuperations.

COVID-related deaths rose to 52,962 with 34 new fatalities.

The utilization rate of intensive care unit beds nationwide was at 49 percent, and 53 percent in Metro Manila; isolation beds in the capital region at 48 percent, and 49 percent across the country.

In Metro Manila, 29 percent of ventilators are in use, and  22 percent nationwide.

 

PH gov’t to ramp up administration of COVID vaccine booster jabs to 500K a day – Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government will increase the number of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots being administered in the country to 500,000 daily, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte during a meeting with officials on Monday, Galvez said more than 4.7 million Filipinos have taken their COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. The daily average is 267,900 shots.

“Ito po sa ating analysis ay mababa dahil halos sabay po natin inilunsad ang pagbabakuna ng mga bata, ang mga bata po ngayon ay mahigit na 8 million,” he said.

“Ang average po natin naitala ay mahigit na 260,000 po lamang. Kinakailangan po na maiangat sa doblado or 500,000 doses kada araw,” he added.

Galvez said the country needs to ramp up its booster output in order to achieve its target of boosting more than 70 million Filipinos against COVID-19.

To increase the output, the official said concerned agencies have drafted strategies including the expansion of vaccination sites for boosters using pharmacies and private clinics.

“Concentrate po tayo sa NCR+ 10 at sa mga area na may more than 70 percent fully vaccinated para mapanatili na mataas at tuloy-tuloy na proteksiyon,” Galvez said.

“I-expand po natin ang vaccination sites for boostering using big pharmacies and private sector clinics for the A4 population… At mag-dedicate po tayo ng mega vaccination site like Nayong Pilipino at mga malls for boosters administration,” he added.

The Philippine government is eyeing to fully vaccinate up to 77 million Filipinos in the first quarter of this year and 90 million Filipinos by the second quarter.

To date, more than 55 million individuals have been fully vaccinated since the Philippines rolled out its immunization campaign in March 2020.

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