Study underway for lagundi vs COVID-19 cure
Lagundi, which has long been used to treat asthma and coughing in the Philippines, is now being studied as a potential cure for COVID-19.
STAR/ File

Study underway for lagundi vs COVID-19 cure

Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - November 9, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-funded research and development on lagundi as a supplementary treatment for the coronavirus disease 2019 is well underway, according to Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña.

Dela Peña said that of the 280 target participants in the lagundi clinical trials, 75 mild or suspected COVID-19 cases have already been enrolled at the Quezon Institute and the Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Police Office (PNP-NCRPO) quarantine centers.

As of Oct. 30, 59 patients have completed the regimen, Dela Peña said.

The screening and enrollment of participants are still ongoing.

The R&D project evaluates the efficacy and safety of lagundi tablets in patients suspected or with mild COVID-19 without co-morbidities, Dela Peña said.

“It’s a study on lagundi as an adjunctive therapy for COVID,” Dela Peña told The STAR over the weekend.

The study commenced early last September after the Food and Drug Administration gave its approval for the R&D.

Dela Peña had earlier said the DOST has approved the P4.9-million funding for the lagundi clinical trials.

Dela Peña announced last July that a University of the Philippines Manila ethics committee had given the greenlight to the lagundi R&D.

Aside from lagundi, melatonin, convalescent plasma and virgin coconut oil (VCO), the DOST will also fund R&D on tawa-tawa as potential cure for COVID-19.

The DOST has allocated P5 million each to the two new R&D projects on VCO to be conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute with DOST-Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon); Santa Rosa, Laguna local government unit headed by Mayor Arlene Arcillas; Philippine Coconut Authority; UP-Philippine General Hospital, and UP-National Institutes of Health.

Prior to this, the DOST has already been supporting the R&D on VCO of Ateneo de Manila University professor Fabian Dayrit.

2,442 new cases

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide jumped to 396,395 yesterday with the addition of 2,442 new cases reported by the Department of Health.

Of the newly reported cases, 90 percent or 2,200 occurred within the past 14 days.

The DOH noted that 361,638 or 91.2 percent of the confirmed COVID infected individuals have survived the illness, after 11,430 new recoveries were recorded.

Fifty-four new deaths brought to 7,539 the total COVID-related fatalities nationwide. Of the figure, 39 or 72 percent occurred this month while the rest occurred from August to October.

There are still 27,218 active cases, 91.6 percent of which are mild and asymptomatic.

Rizal posted the biggest number of new cases with 138, followed by Manila with 131 and Benguet with 130. Batangas also recorded a high of 113 new cases and Bulacan with 112.

The National Capital Region (NCR) remained the top region with the highest number of newly reported as well as active COVID cases, followed by Calabarzon and Central Luzon.

As of last Saturday, the DOH recorded a total of 11,398 healthcare workers who have tested positive for COVID-19. Most of them or 96.9 percent have recovered while 71 have died.

The DOH said of the 560,840 Filipinos who have returned from various countries, 9,709 were positive for the disease. Among them, 262 are currently admitted in hospitals, five died and the rest have already survived. – Mayen Jaymalin

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