MANILA - Clinical trials on the efficacy of virgin coconut oil for severe COVID-19 cases were already approved for patients in the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, the Department of Science and Technology said Wednesday.
The ethics board of the University of the Philippines-Manila has approved the conduct of clinical trials on patients with moderate and severe cases of COVID-19.
"Ang good news, iyon pong sa PGH which is for moderate and severe cases ay inaprubahan na finally ng Ethics Board ng UP Manila, so I am just waiting for the report that they have already started," Science Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña said in a virtual press briefing.
(The good news is that the Ethics Board of UP Manila has approved the testing for moderate and severe cases in PGH.)
A group of patients will be given VCO as part of their daily diet, Dela Peña said, to see if they would recover faster than those who don't drink the oil for 14 days.
Some 100 patients are eyed for the clinical trials, he added.
"As I have indicated earlier, we are planning—or they are planning for 100 patients; half will be on VCO and half will not be given VCO, so for comparison purposes," Dela Peña said.
So far, the world has yet to find a cure or vaccine for COVID-19 but clinical trials are ongoing on drugs seen as possible treatment for the respiratory disease.
Aside from PGH, the DOST earlier said it would also run clinical trials at the Santa Rosa Community Hospital in Laguna for mild cases of COVID-19.
There are, however, not enough COVID-19 patients in the hospital for clinical trials, which prompted the DOST to include 2 other facilities with COVID-19 patients, Dela Peña said.
As of Wednesday, the Philippines has confirmed 19,748 COVID-19 cases. This includes 974 deaths, and 4,153 recoveries.