MANILA - Clinical trials for the use of virgin coconut oil (VCO) against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms may take 2 months before researchers reach a conclusion, the country's science chief said Saturday.
Science Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña said the clinical trial in Sta. Rosa, Laguna still needs 56 more volunteers.
"Malapit-lapit na tayo sa finish line at malalaman na natin ang conclusion, in fact three-fourths ng mga pasyente ay nakauwi na so ibig sabihin lumakas na sila pero kailangan ng talagang analysis at formal report," Dela Peña said in a press briefing.
(We are almost at the finish line and we are close to reaching a conclusion. In fact, three-fourths of the patients have gone home so this means they got stronger. However, we will still need an analysis and a formal report.)
Experts earlier said giving VCO to some COVID-19 patients saw positive results.
Aside from VCO, the government was looking at the use of lagundi and tawa-tawa as supplemental treatment for COVID-19, citing their "anti-viral" properties.
Dela Peña said the clinical trials for lagundi have been approved and may start at the Philippine General Hospital or three different quarantine centers in Quezon City soon.
The Department of Science and Technology is still waiting for the Food and Drug Administration's approval of clinical trials for tawa-tawa.
The clinical trials are conducted for patients experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms.
"Ang titingnan natin kung ano ang probability o ang tsansang bababa o mag-progress sila into moderate or severe cases," Dela Peña explained.
(We are looking at the probability or chance of these patients' symptoms easing or progressing into moderate or severe cases.)
- report from Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News